BT preps wires-only ADSL

More modem choice

Broadband users are to be given greater choice over which modem they use in the UK with the introduction of a "wires-only" version of ADSL from BT Wholesale.

Tom Saville, broadband marketing manager at BT Wholesale, claims a wires-only ADSL connection by BT would reduce the overall cost to customers of installing broadband.

Currently ADSL services are available only with modems from Alcatel and Fujitsu, according to Saville; but 20 modem suppliers, including cheaper Far East suppliers, have had their kit certified by the telco, and there's no good reason why their technology can't be used.

Wires-only ADSL is to be introduced by BT Wholesale in December and will be widely available through retailers at that time, Saville says.

The introduction of wires-only ADSL is part of moves by BT to accelerate the sluggish introduction of broadband in the UK by reducing its price and lowering the complexity of rolling-out the service.

Earlier this week BT announced the roll-out of rate adaptive DSL (RADSL) in a bid to extend the reach of its copper wire-based broadband service. Current products only work if people are within 3.5km of a DSL-enabled exchange, and RADSL kit extends this distance to 5.5km making broadband services accessible to more people.

Saville said BT's latest figures show that there are 65,000 ADSL users of which between 25,000 and 30,000 are BTopenworld subscribers.

Installations are taking place at between 2,000 and 3,000 per week. This is far too slow for Saville, who says the figure needs to be doubled to at least 5,000 or more per week if the Government's much-trumpeted vision of broadband Britain is to come to fruition. ®

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