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Byline: REINHARDT KRAUSE
Local phone company SBC Communications Inc. has slashed prices for Internet access as it battles with cable TV companies.
Like other local Bells, SBC has fallen behind in the battle to sell speedy broadband Internet service. Two-thirds of consumers with broadband access use cable modems. One-third use digital subscriber lines provided by phone companies.
Yet, SBC is on somewhat of a roll in adding DSL subscribers. It has added more DSL customers in each of the last four quarters, including 245,000 in the final three months of 2002. The company reports first-quarter results on Thursday.
San Antonio-based SBC has charged as much as $50 a month for broadband service. But it has steadily cut that rate to lure customers.
"Prices are coming down as a general theme," said Ed Cholerton, vice president of Internet product marketing. "The prospects for $50 monthly broadband aren't good. We're determined not to be beaten on price …