The Denver Post | April 12, 2005 Print Edition | Will Shanley
Qwest has started to roll out “fiber to the home” in Lone Tree, touting it as a way to ultimately deliver faster data speeds and sharper TV-picture quality.
The service, which Denver-based Qwest will announce at a news conference today, will be available in select newly constructed homes, starting with 260 homes under construction in the RidgeGate development.
Qwest said it is planning to deliver the service to other new home developments in its 14-state region.
Qwest already offers a bundle of services that includes local and long-distance phone, high-speed Internet and 200 TV channels for $129.98 per month.
In Lone Tree, RidgeGate residents can get those services at a $5 discount and through a high-capacity fiber-optic pipeline.
“Fiber to the home is for demands of the future: Download music or enjoy streaming video, watch HDTV programming and be ready to take advantage of the applications of tomorrow,” said Jim Vogel, Qwest’s vice president of sales.
The fiber-optic cable is the size of a human hair and extends all the way into consumers’ homes, where data and voice are converted from optical to electrical signals and sent throughout.
The fiber wiring could enable residents to have greater control over their homes, including enhanced home security, energy management and connectivity between medical doctors, patients and hospitals.
Qwest’s fiber-to-the-home lines will begin with a deliveryspeedof1.5megabitsper second, but they have the capacity to transfer data at 40 megabits per second.
Qwest’s current digital subscriber line, or DSL, uses traditional copper wiring to deliver data at 1.5 to 3 megabits per second.
Qwest’s fiber-to-the-home build-out is modest compared with the multibillion- dollar effort launched by SBC Communications, based in San Antonio.
“It’s expensive in the short term but revenue rich in the long term,” said Thomas Reiman, president of California’s The Broadband Group, a consulting firm working with RidgeGate and other developers to provide fiber to the home.
Reiman said fiber wiring has less resistance and lasts longer than copper wiring but is currently more expensive to lay and maintain. Within two years, Reiman said, the price difference between fiber and copper wiring should be minimal.
All RidgeGate residents must use Qwest for Internet – helping Qwest offset the cost of laying the fiber – but can purchase phone and TV services from other providers.