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Easynet muscles into BT ADSL trials

BT appoints up to a dozen ISPs

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Easynet has jumped into the ADSL fray, joining Freeserve in the great BT trials. The ISP, the UK’s biggest remaining independent, is offering businesses in London and Manchester ADSL connections for six months -- but is only charging for three months. This will cost customers around £2,000, David Rowe, Easynet chairman and CEO, says. The service goes national next year, as BT rolls out ADSL to more exchanges. The company will position the service between ISDN and leased lines, offering guaranteed contention for businesses. Contention means that when an ISP says it is supplying you with a 2Mb pipe, you really are getting a guaranteed 2Mb pipe, and not having to share it with other punters. AOL, Video Networks and BT Interactive, a new unit within BT’s multimedia division, have indicated their interest in joining the ADSL gang. Up to 12 Internet access providers are expected to participate in the BT trials, which run until the end of March. We can’t imagine ADSL not going live more or less immediately after that. In the BT trials, there are three categories of ADSL supplier: the Video Stream, targeting broadcasters such as BskyB which could be interested in video on demand; Data Stream, targeting business customers; and IP Stream, targeting consumers. ®

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