makes foray into Salt Lake cable
By Beth Potter, Staff Writer
Friday, November 18, 2005
Days after Comcast threw the first punch by rolling out
Internet-based telephone service in Denver, Qwest is
striking back with a plan to offer cable TV in Salt Lake
City, where Comcast already provides the service.
Qwest, which is based in Denver, already offers digital TV
service and cable in at least one Utah city. A cable
franchise in the capital would allow the telephone company
to expand and offer more features to customers, such as
caller ID on TV screens, said Carey Madsen, a Qwest
"We've found time and again that being able to combine your
TV service with your Internet service into one package is
compelling to customers," Madsen said. "We see TV as being
the crux of the decision-making."
Qwest would offer cable service through a wholly owned
subsidiary, Qwest Broadband Services, with an estimated 175
channels, including local stations that carry programming
such as Utah Jazz basketball games, according to the Salt
To offer new cable-TV service, Qwest may need to lay
fiber-optic cable in neighborhoods currently under
construction, Madsen said. She declined to say how much
would be spent on the project.
Cable and telephone companies are scrambling to offer as
many services as they can to consumers as the two markets
move closer together, said Phil Weiser, a telecommunications
expert at the University of Colorado.
"In Denver, the cable companies are going into telephone
service, so it's pushing the telephone companies into cable
service," Weiser said. "Unfortunately, the cable companies
have a head start over the telephone companies."
A Comcast spokeswoman in Colorado said the increased
competition in Salt Lake City is welcome.
"It's important for consumers to have a choice, and that
everyone plays by the same rules," said Cindy Parsons, a
Comcast spokeswoman in Denver.
Staff writer Beth Potter
can be reached at 303-820-1503 or