ENGLEWOOD, Colo. Qwest Communications International Inc. will not be adding any new digital subscriber line (DSL) service areas to its current network. The company halted its physical-plant expansion in November, when it contacted its contractors and froze all expansion of networks.
Qwest confirmed that it will only expand DSL service in central-office areas currently served with DSL lines, and will not add DSL equipment to any more sub-central officers or loop carrier pedestals.
Joseph Nacchio, chief executive of Qwest, blamed the halt in part on the 1996 Telcommunications Reform Act. Nacchio told analysts that the act is unfair to incumbent local carriers, since cable TV multisystem operators do not have to open up their cable headends to competition. But a source at cable MSO Adelphia Communications Corp. called that explanation "a poor excuse on two fronts: first, Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell is reviewing the whole issue of headend and central-office access; and second, there is no competitive carrier business left to seek access to Qwest's network. This sounds like an ex post facto excuse for cutting all capital expenditures for new plant."