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16,000 jump on BTo's new DSL bandwagon

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BTopenworld has secured more than 16,000 orders for its DSL service in the last two weeks.

The massive surge in demand coincides with BTopenworld's move to cut the cost of its single user DSL product to under £30 a month, following a fall in the wholesale costs.

Speaking to The Register for the first time since her appointment just before Christmas, BTopenworld chief exec, Alison Ritchie, said: "This is very encouraging."

And she believes that BT Group's broader target of installing a million DSL lines over the next year is achievable adding that she wanted a "healthy slice" of that market.

Of course, with more than 100,000 broadband users already BTopenworld has a head start on its rivals. Plus its commitment to chuck around £10 million behind marketing broadband is also sure to help it pick-up punters.

The real interest will come when those ISP heavyweights - Freeserve and AOL UK - really get stuck-in to broadband and start taking-on BTopenworld. When that happens it could be a right old scrap for market share - definitely one to watch.

Of course, all that's in the future. For Alison Ritchie, she insists that improving customer satisfaction remains her "number one" priority.

Stressing that things had improved, she added that Oftel had received a marked fall in the number of complaints it received about the ISP business.

Asked whether BTopenworld would follow Freeserve's lead and increase the cost of its unmetered narrowband service, Ritchie said she could "neither rule it in or out" but agreed that the trend was probably upwards. ®

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