Verizon announced the expansion of its 7 Mbps DSL product to the east coast portion of its footprint. Verizon will offer the new speeds for $39.99/month to DSL customers in Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. The higher speeds are a clear response to cable modem’s historical speed advantage over DSL. “Our 7 megabits per second Internet service allows you to quickly download information from the Internet and provides an attractive alternative to cable modems,” said Susan Retta, vice president, broadband solutions for Verizon. Cable will argue that Verizon’s arrival to the multi-megabit per second broadband speed party is a little late considering they are already offering 7 Mbps packages or more, and intend to keep upping the ante with even faster speeds.
In fact high speed Internet is seen as an important lure, maybe even the most important, for triple play bundle marketing tactics. Emphasizing speed, whether it’s the download portion, or the upload portion, which seems to be gaining more attention in these video sharing days, has always been a priority. As the gap in speeds between competitive offerings begins to narrow, emphasis is also being placed on service and value-add options like security and home networking. Going forward, service providers on all ends of the competitive spectrum will be challenged to create marketing messages and value propositions that rely on more than just “my service is faster (bigger) than yours.”