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SBC cuts DSL prices again

Just two months after a similar move, the company knocks down prices for high-speed Net access to lure customers in a highly competitive field.

SBC Communications is cutting prices again for its high-speed Internet service, as the digital subscriber line market continues to be highly competitive.

On Thursday, SBC set new pricing for its SBC Yahoo DSL service for residential customers, which runs at download speeds of 1.5 to 3 megabits per second. The service is priced as low as $36.99 per month for those who subscribe to a larger bundle of local, long-distance and wireless services. The price shifts to $39.99 as part of a separate bundle of services for residential and business customers--and to $44.99, if the service is purchased separately.

Just two months ago, SBC had set the $44.99 price as a temporary promotional offer, down from a regular price of nearly $100.

The company said the service was intended to meet the increasing bandwidth demands of individuals and small businesses for applications such as digital photography and online gaming.

Aggressive broadband pricing among Baby Bells such as SBC, Verizon Communications, BellSouth and Qwest Communications International stems from the uphill battle those local phone giants face against cable companies, which dominate the home broadband market. Qwest, for one, recently unbundled DSL from its local phone services to give potential customers greater flexibility.

SBC also knocked down the price for a slower connection of up to 1.5mbps for downloads. Customers signing up for the package of local, long-distance and wireless services can get the DSL service for $26.95 a month; in a separate, unspecified package for $29.95; and separately for $34.95. The latter price had applied in the earlier promotion, down from about $65.