Like all wireline focused telcos, Qwest’s future lies in its ability to transition from a local phone company to a broadband service provider. Maximizing their broadband capabilities will be paramount as they battle cable and other competitors. Qwest may be somewhat handicapped, with conventional wisdom suggesting they’re not in a position to upgrade significant portions of their access network to FTTH. That means DSL will continue to play the dominant role in their broadband strategy.
With DOCSIS 3.0 already being deployed in multiple markets, Qwest needs a response. According to BroadbandReports.com, that response may be VDSL2. Chatter there reveals Qwest may be close to a VDSL2 launch, offering speeds as high as 40 Mbps.
VDSL2 is DSL’s latest iteration, offering a potentially similar FTTH broadband experience, with one major limitation – distance. Subscribers need to be within 3,000 feet of a fiber fed VDSL2 capable DSLAM to gain a FTTH ‘lite’ experience. There is considerable confusion surrounding the ‘V’ in VDSL. Many believe it stands for video – but it actually stands for ‘very high bit rate.’ Because it can support high bandwidth applications like video, it’s often aligned with video services, but broadband carriers can offer VDSL without offering video. AT&T is also exploring its VDSL2 options. Unfortunately, VDSL2’s promise will only be in reach of a select few (relatively speaking).