Qwest announces 12, 20Mbps fiber broadband

Verizon is about to get some competition on the high-speed fiber stage. Qwest has announced a pair of fiber-optic broadband services that deliver downstream speeds of 20Mbps for $99.95 a month and 12Mbps at $49.95 a month. The services are set to hit "23 of Qwest's top markets across 10 states" some time this year, the company claims.

Despite the high speeds, Qwest's services won't be based on quite the same technology as Verizon's FiOS. Both the 20Mbps Connect Quantum and the 12Mbps Connect Titanium connections rely on fiber-to-the-neighborhood technology, which shares a single fiber-optic line among multiple users. Connections to each user are typically provided via coaxial or DSL. By comparison, FiOS connections run fiber straight up to the user's home.

Another potential downside is that, for the moment, Qwest appears to be obscuring its services' upstream speeds. Verizon, meanwhile, advertises a 15/2Mbps service for $52.99 a month and a 15/15Mbps for $64.99 a month on its website.

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