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Up to 50 Internet service providers could be test-driving DIY ADSL installation with the launch next month of BT trials.

BT Wholesale - which is introducing the self-install scheme - declined to publish a list of those taking part, although some ISPs have been quick to publish their own involvement in the commercial trials.

Yesterday, Lancashire-based Zen Internet, which has around 1,500 ADS subscribers, began accepting applications for its wires-only service, although won't be fulfilling any orders until December 12.

Scottish-based ISP, iomart, also announced it will begin offering its service from December 11.

And according to the ADSLguide, Berkshire-based Andrews & Arnold and Cheshire-based C2 have also published details of their offers.

The DIY service is expected to be fully available in the beginning of next year.

It's widely hoped that wires-only will give a much needed fillip to demand by cutting installation costs and monthly tariffs.

Although many of the gains will be wiped out by the additional financial burden of buying an ADSL modem and other related hardware, this is thought to be a short-term problem and many in the industry believe hardware costs will fall as demand increases and suppliers fight for business.

Said Phil Worms, of iomart: "One of the largest perceived barriers for mass market take up of ADSL has been the initial up front connection charges that an end user has to pay.

"The introduction of the wires only service goes a long way to removing that barrier.

"I do accept that the end user will still have to pay for a suitable DSL device to receive the service, but at least they now have a choice.

"I have no doubt that we see some compelling products combined with aggressive pricing appearing in the UK marketplace during the next few months," he said.

Wires-only ADSL enables users to install their own hardware without the need for a BT engineer to visit their home. ®

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