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BT flogs SDSL to ‘data-heavy’ small firms

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BT today unveiled plans to sell SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line) broadband direct to businesses, starting in London and Coventry.

The product, Business Broadband Advanced, will be offered at speeds of 500 Kbps, 1 Mbps or 2 Mbps. ADSL is offered at these speeds but with SDSL businesses get a high speed link to upload files, as well as a fat pipe to download files. The service offers equal bandwidth upstream and downstream.

SDSL is been pitched towards small and medium-sized businesses that host Web sites or email services or that use IP VPNs, video or music streaming services.

Business Broadband Advanced enables smaller companies to expand their telecoms capacity without the expense of a leased line. Businesses that run intensive applications and need to send out large amounts of data, such as publishers, architects, and advertisers are expected to be the early adopters of the service.

BT will offer its Business Broadband Advanced service from enabled exchanges in metropolitan areas where there are high concentrations of small businesses.

In London and Coventry, Business Broadband Advanced has been trialled to more than 70 customers since October 2003. Triallists include The Jim Henson Company - best known as the creator of The Muppets. In Coventry, BT is partnering with local development project CW2000 to promote high speed networking as a means to boost the competitiveness of businesses in the Coventry & Warwickshire area.

Business Broadband Advanced connections cost £595, with bandwidth costs as follows: 0.5 Mbps for £170 per calendar month; 1 Mbps for £230 pcm and 2 Mbps for £345 pcm.

BT intends to be bring SDSL to Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Sheffield. However, roll out will depend on commercial demand.

Craig Rowland, managing director of BT Business, said: "[ADSL] will continue to be the best solution for most businesses. However, those with data-heavy communications will benefit from the high speeds that Business Broadband Advanced can offer," he added. ®

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