Lucent Technologies will supply Qwest Communications International with technology for its remote terminals, which expand the distance DSL can be taken from a central office.

Qwest announced it will expand its DSL coverage area in 11 of 14 Western states where it provides local phone service. The expansion comes as it prepares to re-enter the long-distance market in about a year, it says.

Expansion — in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington — has been budgeted and Qwest says its reported spending won't change.

The two-year DSL program is expected to add about 1.3 million new DSL-capable homes and businesses in the areas by the end of 2001, and 1.2 million more next year, for a total of 6 million by the end of 2002, Qwest says.

Acceptance is another matter — Qwest reported 306,000 subscribers at the end of its first quarter and expects a total 500,000 by the end of 2001. The Bell says it is making both its underlying network and its remote terminals available to competitors.

For its part, Lucent says its Stinger RT platform enables DSL equipment in Qwest's local networks to be closer to residents and businesses, with the same phone line quality and speed as those from a central office. It ups the potential coverage by 60 percent, Lucent reports.

The project likewise will include Lucent's Stinger FS, which was designed to support thousands of DSL subscribers per rack in certain central offices.