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BT Wholesale is to roll out rate adaptive DSL (RADSL) in a bid to extend the reach of its copper wire-based broadband service.

A pilot service begins today but BT reckons the service will be available across the country by July 18 making it available to a further two million homes in the UK.

The first service to be upgraded is BT Wholesale's service geared for home users, BT IPStream 500.

The current product only works if people are within 3.5km of a DSL-enabled exchange. The rate adaptive technology means that this can be extended to 5.5km making the broadband service accessible to more people.

However, there is some loss of performance with RADSL.

A spokeswoman for BT Wholesale said the up-link (sending files, for example) "could suffer some deterioration" but that it would "still be better than ISDN".

"The down link (downloading material) is unaffected," she said.

Some 65,000 people now have DSL in the UK. ®

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