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Autumn leaves will fall before ADSL rolls out in Britain

Updated: BT opens order books on 20 April

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BT has extended its ADSL trial until the end of June to enable the telco to continue testing the service and appraise its launch procedures. Oftel confirmed today that BT had asked for an extension to June 30 for its ADSL trials. Curiously, BT says it plans an activation of its service to end-users on 29 June, one day before the trials are supposed to end. The company expects to start taking orders for ADSL, barring any unforseen problems on 20 April. The trial was due to end next month prior to the service being launched in ten cities in Britain. It means BT Interactive - the division of BT offering the consumer ADSL service - will not make the service available until the summer at the earliest. Bearing in mind that anyone signing up for the service will also have to wait for a survey and line test before installation, it could be September before the roll-out of ADSL gets underway with any degree of momentum. A spokesman for BT Interactive confirmed that the trial had been extended. "This is a mould-breaking service - the product has to be right," he said, explaining why BT Interactive had delayed the rollout. Although BT Interactive is still keeping mum about pricing, it is becoming more and more likely that it will settle at £49.99 a month for its 512KB service. BT Interactive is one of a handful of outfits planning to offer an ADSL service to consumers. Others include AOL UK and Freeserve. Earlier this month Freeserve launched its trial some three months later than scheduled. It also won't be in a position to offer its broadband service until the summer. ® Related Stories Freeserve ADSL trial springs into action How much is that ADSL in the window?

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