Looking to gain an edge over its cable competition, Qwest will now offer any customer that signs a two-year broadband service contract (7 Mbps, 12 Mbps or 20 Mbps service packages) a Dell Inspiron Mini netbook for $199. Qwest's deal, which follows similar efforts by Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, will run through the end of September. Qwest does at least have some success to emulate. AT&T's promotion to offer $50 netbooks from Dell, Acer and LG Electronics was apparently successful enough that the company plans to launch the program on a nationwide basis.
Offering a netbook discount promotion fits in well with Qwest's Fiber to the Node (FTTN) broadband ambitions. Since it launched its fiber-based Internet service last year, Qwest's FTTN network now reaches about 2 million potential homes in its local telephone regions. The ILEC has continued to enhance the service with new speeds and other incentives, including free AT&T WiFi access and an enhanced 40 Mbps/20 Mbps service in select markets. Since Qwest does play in cable competitive markets, having yet another incentive such as a netbook with WiFi capabilities could help attract users that might be on the fence on whether to go with Qwest or a cable service.
- eWeek has this article
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