Qwest service can hit 40Mbps down, 20Mbps up


— 11:20 AM on July 20, 2009

A little over a year ago, Qwest announced broadband services with speeds as high as 20Mbps. Today, the company has introduced a new tier with twice the maximum download speed and a whopping 20Mbps upstream. Or, for folks who don't work at ISPs' marketing departments, 5MB/s down and 2.5MB/s up.

Qwest says it has begun offering the new tier "on a limited basis in certain locations within its fiber-optic-fast Internet footprint." Those locations include Denver, Tucson, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and St. Paul. Over the coming months, 40/20Mbps goodness will spread to "select areas within 23 markets."

Here's how Qwest's new offers stack up, according to the press release:

  • Connection speeds of 40 Mbps downstream with 5 Mbps upstream, starting at $99.99 a month for the first 12 months when combined with a qualifying home phone package.
  • Connection speeds of 40 Mbps downstream with 20 Mbps upstream, starting at $109.99 a month for the first 12 months when combined with a qualifying home phone package.
  • An introductory rate of $5 more a month for qualified customers with 7 Mbps, 12 Mbps or 20 Mbps speed tiers who upgrade to 5 Mbps upstream speeds.

While the 40Mbps service relies on a fiber-optic backbone, Qwest notes that it uses VDSL2 technology (short for very high-speed digital subscriber line 2) to connect end users to the network. So, in theory, data stills travel over copper phone wires; just for shorter distances than with traditional ADSL.

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