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BT delays ADSL yet again, again

Guess who else's fault it is this time?

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It's depressing to think how many times we have written this headline but BT has done it again. ADSL will now be available in August - or maybe in September - but most likely whenever competitors threaten to impinge on the lazy giant's territory. Oh, and this time it's the fault of the ISPs... for failing to provide enough triallists.

This may well be the biggest load of nonsense BT has ever come up with - and it's up against some tough competition.

Every single ISP which has offered an ADSL trial service has been inundated with consumers who want the superfast Internet connection, and no one was surprised when they were. And now here is BT, saying it can't get enough people.

We have lost count of the number of delays the service has suffered and even yesterday, while talking to a BT representative at the company stand at Networks Telecom, the prices are unconfirmed - even though they have been confirmed three times, at different rates, in the last year.

At the BT stand yesterday, I asked the spokeswoman when we could get hold of ADSL and how much it would cost. She sighed. "Oh, absolutely everyone has asked me that question today." Have we entered some strange parallel universe?

The thing is that this time, we were really, really sure BT would roll out ADSL in the summer. About five months ago, it pulled a large number of staff into a special ADSL unit and even released a brand name - BT Openworld - which it has flagged on both on its website and in the national press in the past few weeks. But when no one else can offer the service in the UK, what possible good will it do to actually make it available and miss out on all that lovely income from existing phone lines?

The really maddening thing is that when BT finally does decide to release ADSL, consumers will lap it up and the company will steal the lion's share of the market. It knows this and is under no pressure to do anything but sit and wait. ®

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