Share story

The price gap between cable broadband service and phone carriers’ digital subscriber lines widened to an all-time high last month, according to a survey by SG Cowen.

Cable-modem service was, on average, 75.8 percent more expensive than DSL during the month, up from a 53.3 percent gap in July. While phone carriers cut prices — the average DSL price decreased by 9.2 percent — cable companies raised them.

Leading the price decline was Verizon Communications, which rolled out a slower service that cost just $14.95 a month, with a free month of service with a one-year commitment.

By contrast, cable broadband service got 4.1 percent more expensive, on average. Comcast raised prices an average of 7.9 percent, while Time Warner Cable raised by 5.8 percent, according to the survey.

Global Market Inside

Acquisitions will build links

Global Market Insite (GMI), an Internet-based market-research company on Mercer Island, said it has acquired Seattle-based NetReflector along with two companies in China and Norway.

GMI said the acquisitions will help it build an operating system that links research suppliers and buyers. NetReflector develops surveying technology to measure customer satisfaction. The value of the acquisitions were not disclosed.


Head of West unit gains promotion

Seattle-based aQuantive said that one of its operating units, Avenue A | Razorfish, has promoted Clark Kokich to worldwide president.

Kokich was most recently president of the unit’s West region, and before that was president of Avenue A’s Seattle and Chicago offices. In his new position, Kokich will oversee the operations of 11 U.S. offices.


E-mail upgrades aimed at rivals

Yahoo! is testing new features for its Web e-mail service to boost user loyalty in a race with Microsoft and Google.

The upgraded service displays previews of e-mails and lets users more easily organize messages into folders, said Ethan Diamond, a director of product management at Yahoo!.

The features reflect Yahoo!’s effort to catch up with Microsoft’s MSN Hotmail, the most-popular Web e-mail service. With the additions, Yahoo! users won’t have to wait for new Web pages to load to browse messages, making the service more closely resemble desktop e-mail applications such as Microsoft Outlook.

Yahoo!’s e-mail service will continue to be free and will display advertising.


Fund helps workers become teachers

Taking a step toward halting the decline of America’s leadership in technology, IBM said it will help veteran employees launch new careers teaching math and science.

IBM will provide employees with salaries and benefits while they take necessary courses to become teachers. It will also pay tuition costs up to $15,000.

The effort will begin in January with a pilot program in New York and North Carolina that will include up to 100 IBM employees. Plans are for the program to roll out nationwide in January 2007, said Stanley Litow, head of the IBM Foundation.

IBM is committed to helping the nation’s schools recruit qualified people to teach math and science, he said. “There’s a shortage of more than a quarter-million math and science teachers,” he said. “We know there’s a crisis in U.S. classrooms.”

Compiled by Seattle Times business staff, the Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg News and Dow Jones Newswires.