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Wanadoo toasts unbundled broadband with 8 meg service

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Wanadoo UK is to flick the switch on it new unbundled broadband service next month with the promise of speeds up to 8 meg.

The ISP - which is owned by France Telecom - will start hooking up new punters to its service from next month and will also upgrade for free existing customers who are wired up to its unbundled exchanges.

From next month, those wired up to Wanadoo's local loop unbundled (LLU) service can expect to pay £17.99 a month for an 8 meg connection, although this includes a usage cap of 2 gigs a month.

For the vast majority of punters not connected to an unbundled exchange, Wanadoo has also pledged to upgrade them for free to 8 meg once BT Wholesale has finished tweaking its network next spring following the completion of its "Max" trials.

Said Wanadoo UK boss Eric Abensur in a statement: "LLU heralds the beginning of a new era for Wanadoo and its customers and we look forward to unveiling more market-disrupting services in the near future."

Kicking off its LLU network, Wanadoo has installed its kit in 150 BT exchanges in five UK cities - Leeds, London, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham - enabling it to provide broadband services direct to end users.

Although its investment to date covers around 12 per cent of the UK population, Wanadoo plans to continue investing in LLU and expects to wire up a total of 500 exchanges within the next 12 months, giving it access to around 40 per cent of the population. ®

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