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So much for a French backlash. Qwest Communications has awarded Alcatel a contract worth about $35 million to provide DSL access multiplexers for an expansion of high-speed Internet access service, according to a source close to the deal.

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Representatives for both Alcatel and Qwest declined comment. However, according to one vendor source, Qwest had been shopping a contract to provide DSLAMs and started testing with a number of vendors. That testing ended abruptly when Qwest tabbed Alcatel for the contract. “It wasn't just that they got the contract, it's how it was done that gets everyone mad,” said the source.

A source at Lucent, which signed a contract for remote terminal DSLAMs with Qwest in 2001, said the company wasn't competing for that particular contract, but given Alcatel's dominance of the CO-based DSLAM market, he wasn't surprised by the result.

“The low-hanging fruit in DSL has always been the CO,” he said. “That's where most of the loops in the U.S. terminate, and [Alcatel is] big there.”

According to numbers released by the Dell'Oro group last week, Alcatel held on to its comfortable lead in worldwide market share for DSL equipment with a 37.7% share of all lines shipped by the end of the first-quarter 2003. To date, Alcatel has shipped more than 25 million lines, about four times as many as its nearest competitor.

Qwest is one of the few large carriers, and the only RBOC, with which Alcatel has not publicly announced a contract.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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