It sounds like your friend has the shared port "dial-up" 640k connection, which Qwest traded out for the always on 256k line. The price is the same, but they have halved your download speeds in exchange for the dedication. That's just how they sell it now.
If he is really getting dedicated 640 for $21.95, someone at Qwest made a mistake he does not want to report.
Download speeds are controlled by Qwest. We at XMission charge $19 for the basic account on any line, regardless of speed.