DSL carrier Covad Communications is looking to lasso a few dial-up customers who are on the fence about switching to broadband, with a reduced price service offering.
The service, dubbed TeleSurfer Link, is being offered nationwide to new customers at an introductory price of $21.95 a month — after four months of service, the price will be pumped up to $39.95 a month. The no-frills, always-on ADSL service offers subscribers 200 kbps downstream and 64 kbps upstream. Included in the offer is a free Covad Jumpstart installation kit with a DSL modem after a $199 rebate. "We recognized that we were missing the boat on the large number of dial-up customers who don't want to make the move to broadband because of price," says Bryan Bennett, Covad's senior product manager. "TeleSurfer Link gives them a basic broadband service, with an intro price close to what they are paying for their dial-up service."
"There has been talk about tiered pricing for residential customers, and this is Covad's first foray into this area," says Bennett. "We have to do something to stimulate demand, and with this offer dial customers have nothing to lose." If the service is purchased directly from Covad, a subscription does not require an annual service contract and has no disconnect fees. "If they try TeleSurfer Link, and they don't like it can cancel (the service) without any disconnect penalties," he says. The service also comes with one e-mail account, 24/7 customer support, as well as a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
Speakeasy is the first Covad wholesale DSL partner to offer the service.
TeleSurfer Link is the third TeleSurfer service package Covad offers residential customers. The original TeleSurfer package, dubbed simply TeleSurfer, offers subscribers 608 kbps downstream and 128 kbps upstream for $49.95 a month. TeleSurfer Plus offers subscribers 1500 kbps downstream and 128 kbps upstream for $59.95 a month.
In December, Covad achieved what so many of its high-speed service provider counterparts have failed to do — it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. In mid-August 2001, Covad filed for bankruptcy protection under a pre-negotiated filing designed to eliminate $1.4 billion in debt without affecting the company's operating subsidiaries or service offering.