AT&T Broadband opts for tiered pricing

AT&T Broadband is offering a faster and pricier level of cable Interent access, dubbed UltraLink.

UltraLink provides Internet access at 3mbps downstream and 384kbps upstream for $79.99 per month. The service costs $82.99 per month for customers who lease a modem from the company. Other cable companies offer tiered services with pricing ranging from $29.95 to about $75.

The service, which was launched Thursday in cities including Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle, is the latest in the cable industry's efforts to move to tiered pricing. Markets including Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Portland, Ore., will get UltraLink later this summer, and other regions such as the Northeast will get it later this year.

AT&T Broadband's current service offers speeds of 1.5mbps downstream and 256kbps upstream for $42.95 a month. Customers who lease modems from the company pay $45.95 per month.

AT&T Broadband said UltraLink will serve power users, which it described as those who have "set up home networks, send or receive large files such as when downloading software, or enjoy other bandwidth-intensive applications."

Later this year, the company plans to test a lower-speed tier of Internet service for consumers who merely want to upgrade from dial-up access.

News source: CNet News.com

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