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SBC cuts DSL price with bundled service

The company's fastest DSL service now has a lower price tag--but must be bundled with a calling plan.

SBC Communications on Thursday announced it has cut the price of its fastest SBC Yahoo DSL plan.

SBC Yahoo DSL Pro will cost $29.99 a month for customers who subscribe to it for one year along with SBC's All Distance local and long-distance calling plan, which costs $48.95, the company said.

The digital subscriber line service, with download speeds of up to 3mbps (megabits per second), previously was priced at $36.99 when ordered online or as part of a bundle under a one-year agreement. In November, SBC began offering a service with 1.5mbps speed for $19.95 a month. The company said the new pricing is available through March 31.

SBC also said customers can access FreedomLink Wi-Fi hot spots for free from April 15 through May 31. After that, SBC DSL customers will be charged $1.99 a month. Service for users who aren't also SBC DSL subscribers costs $19.95 a month or $7.95 for 24 hours, it said.

"We're urging consumers to do the math," said Scott Helbing, senior vice president of SBC consumer marketing, citing both the hot-spot deal and the usually higher cost of cable broadband services. "We believe there's no better value in the market for Internet users who crave greater online speeds and want to stay connected with friends and family."

SBC's price cut follows a recent rise in DSL prices announced by rival Verizon, citing tax costs. Last year, another ISP, EarthLink also raised prices to recover local taxes.