BT extends business DSL

BT Group is to double its business broadband coverage by upgrading another 150 telephone exchanges over the next few months.

BT Group is to double its business broadband coverage by upgrading another 150 telephone exchanges over the next few months.

The telco will ask other ISPs which areas should be favoured, and it wants their opinions by Friday.

“Rather than a public registration period, we have asked service providers to tell us where there is a demand,” said a BT spokesman. “That is a more appropriate mechanism for a service that is more niche than ADSL.”

BT offers SDSL in London, Birmingham, Manchester and parts of urban Scotland. The next exchanges are likely to be in similar areas.

BT’s SDSL has several differences over ADSL: it needs exclusive use of the phone line, and costs substantially more - £170 to £345 a month for 512 Kbit/s to 2 Mbit/s.

It is also offered at a better contention rate, as fewer users share the line upstream of the exchange. It stops short of competing directly with the telco’s more expensive leased line services, however, which are uncontended. The customer has exclusive use of bandwidth.

The move was welcomed by Bulldog, which offers a service based on BT’s SDSL, as well as having its own SDSL equipment from 38 telephone exchanges in London.

“As our service is based on BT’s Datastream, we can offer better contention ratios,” he said. Bulldog even offers an “IP leased line” service with no contention, and plans to offer this at the newly enabled exchanges.

Peter Judge writes for

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