Atlantic hesitant about DSL, EasyNet encouraged

Reg Broadband roundup

British-based Atlantic Telecom is forging ahead providing DSL-based broadband service in Holland and Germany but is hesitant about progress in the UK.

Releasing its Q4 performance statistics today it reported that it had signed a framework agreement with mobile telco outfit, Sonera, to provide DSL services in Holland and is finalising a similar agreement with a major carrier to provide high-speed wholesale DSL services.

In the UK, Atlantic is apprehensive about DSL. Despite being part of the local loop unbundling process, it is looking at DSL provision just in Manchester concentrating instead on the provision of broadband fixed wireless services.

In March Atlantic told analysts that it had a "conservative view on UK local loop unbundling" and that "future DSL investment in the UK [would] be subject to a proven track record in Manchester".

Yesterday, Easynet said it had installed 5,000 DSL lines - an increase of 2,500 during the last three months. On the surface, this sounds promising but David Rowe, Chairman and CEO of Easynet was somewhat restrained about DSL saying its progress had been "encouraging". However, the outfit is on target to roll-out unbundled services in the second half of the year.

And on Tuesday Fibernet reported that it had made half-year pre-tax profits of £3.2 million on increased revenues of £24.6 million. Despite this, it sounded a cautious note to LLU promising shareholders a "cautious approach to capital expenditure" in this area, "driven by customer demand".

And to round things off, Redstone - which is making great progress with its distant location strategy - said recently that it would axe 85 jobs at its Borehamwood headquarters in a bid to save cash.

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