Verizon Offers 'Lifetime' DSL Price Plan

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Verizon Communications is trying to drive up digital subscriber line subscriptions with a limited-time offer that gives customers who sign up for a two-year contract the same monthly fee for as long as they continue to subscribe to Verizon Internet service.

Last month, Verizon president Denny Strigl acknowledged on a conference call with Wall Street analysts that the telephone company’s DSL additions were “lighter” than expected for the second quarter.

Under the “lifetime” price plan, which Verizon is offering until Oct. 31, customers who sign up online for the 768 kilobit-per-second service are guaranteed a lifetime price of $14.99 per month. Customers opting for the 3 megabit-per-second service are guaranteed a lifetime price of $27.99.

Verizon charges higher prices for customers who order through an 800 number, with prices ranging from $17.99 to $19.99 per month for the 768-Kbps tier and $27.99 to $29.99 per month for 3 Mbps.

The lifetime-pricing offer from Verizon comes as the pace of broadband adoption begins to cool off. According to research firm Emerging Media Dynamics, U.S. broadband growth declined on a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis during the second quarter -- the first such true slowdown broadband Internet service growth in the last 10 years. The firm said the top four telco and top nine cable broadband service providers added 1.56 million high-speed Internet customers in the quarter, 22% lower than during the second quarter of 2006.

Verizon’s DSL service includes free access to ESPN360.com, the sports programmer’s newly revamped broadband-video site, which is scheduled to broadcast more than 2,000 live events in the next 12 months.

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