SBC Adds DSL, Dish Video Subs


SBC Communications Inc. posted solid subscriber gains in digital subscriber line and video in the fourth quarter.

The telco added 425,000 DSL subscribers to end the year at 5.1 million. SBC had added 377,000 in the year-earlier quarter.

The company added 97,000 video subscribers though its partnership with EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network. SBC now counts 323,000 video subscribers.

Executives reiterated SBC’s support for “Project Lightspeed,” its asymmetrical-DSL-based, fiber-to-the-node video platform that will use Microsoft Corp.'s IPTV software. The company plans to launch services on that platform in the first half of 2005, chief operating officer Randall Stephenson said.

Stephenson added that SBC has begun video tests on the fiber-to-the-premises portion of Lightspeed. "That is progressing fairly well," he said.

The vast majority of Lightspeed will be FTTN technology. Trials of that technology will begin late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter, Stephenson said.