Hayden gets another high-speed Web option

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— High-speed Internet service in Hayden has gone from sparse to abundant in the past 12 months.

A Qwest representative announced at a Hayden Town Board meeting that the company is offering high-speed Internet service in the town.

"The business decision is to provide what our customers want," said Qwest spokesman Michael Dunne. "We think we have a competitive product, and we are excited to bring it to the big cities as well as the small communities."

Qwest will offer three tiers of Internet service. Depending on what people want to spend, users can get speeds of up to 256 kilobytes per second, 1.5 megabytes per second and five megabytes per second.

The technology Qwest is putting in place is commonly known as DSL. It uses existing phone lines, but users do not have to subscribe to Qwest phone service. The Internet connection is always on and people can receive and make phone calls while surfing the net.

Qwest is offering the service starting at $26.99 per month.

Qwest follows Steamboat Springs-based Resort Broadband, NC Telecom and Craig-based Bresnan Communications in offering the service.

"It's good if you look at it from the aspect of there being more competition," said Hayden Town Board member Lorraine Johnson.

Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin agreed that more providers and competing companies are good for the town.

"From the economic development standpoint, this will provide us with some opportunities," Martin said. "There are not too many rural communities that have this (service)."

NC Telecom was the first to offer Hayden Internet service. Resort Broadband, a locally owned and operated company in Steamboat, launched its service in April. Both NC Telecom and Resort Broadband require users to install small antennae outside their homes.

Bresnan Communications launched its Internet service last summer. The company has been the cable provider in Hayden and offers Internet via existing cable lines.

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