AT&T is quietly meeting its BellSouth acquisition merger condition by expanding the availability of stand alone DSL. Its website now offers a stand alone 768K DSL product for $19.95. The “DSL Lite” plan differs from a similar AT&T stand alone DSL product offering of $10/month, in that there is no 12 month term commitment and it is more widely available. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, AT&T’s stand alone DSL product offerings have caught the attention of Comcast, who will soon offer a 768K cable modem service for $24.95.
These new plans will be interesting to observe for many reasons. One of the more compelling possible outcomes is unbundling. There has been so much discussion about and focus on bundling over the past few years (and rightfully so), but I’m starting to see more emphasis on unbundling of services, and stand alone broadband is a good example of this trend. Comcast just launched a new marketing campaign in the Washington D.C. market which highlights stand alone phone service for customers who don’t subscribe to cable TV. AT&T and other telecoms have been slow to promote these unbundled broadband services. But you wonder if that mindset will begin to change, as a potential market for unbundled services may soon blossom.