ADSL arrives, but no price cut yet for ISDN

Eric Doyle

Eric Doyle

BT has refused to be drawn on the issue of ISDN price cuts despite the recent roll-out of its Openworld asynchronous digital subscriber line (ADSL) technology.

The entry-level ADSL service offers a maximum downstream data speed of 512 kilobits per second (kbps) for £39.99 per month. A similarly priced ISDN package offers just 128kbps.

A 512kbps ISDN link requires six more lines and installation alone would cost £750. Add to this the fact that data calls are charged by the minute over ISDN - ADSL is unmetered - and it seems that a price adjustment is inevitable if BT wants to keep ISDN competitive.

A BT Openworld spokes-man said the two technologies would exist alongside each other for the foreseeable future. "It really is a case of horses for courses rather than one technology superseding the other. A multiple-line ISDN solution is more flexible than ADSL. ISDN will also be useful for those outside ADSL exchange-enabled areas," he said.

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