Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Boston Globe Online / Nation | World / Verizon battling on broadband

Boston Globe Online / Nation | World / Verizon battling on broadband "With cable companies such as Comcast Corp. amassing a consistent two-to-one lead over Baby Bell competitors, Verizon launched what one executive called its ''broadband big bang.'' It cut the price for its high-speed digital subscriber line service from $50 to $35 a month -- $30 for customers who add long-distance and wireless phone service -- while doubling top download speeds for many customers to match faster cable modems. DSL offerings will include new Microsoft-provided special content and services.
At the same time, Verizon activated the first 150 of a planned 1,000 wireless fidelity, or WiFi, hot spots in New York City, created by converting surplus pay phones with wireless broadband Internet gear. Its DSL subscribers can use them for free with a special air card device plugged into their laptops or other wireless computer devices. Verizon expects to bring similar WiFi service to Boston and other US markets in coming months.
Industry analysts said Verizon's moves were likely to turbocharge the already booming growth in broadband home Internet connections, which increased by 6.4 million homes last year, to 17.4 million total, according to Leichtman Research Group, a Durham, N.H., consulting firm. That would step up pressure on conventional dial-up service providers, such as America Online, while building bigger markets for delivering music, video, and other entertainment and information over fast Internet hookups.

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