BT has announced the next trial phase for its ADSL broadband Max service, which will deliver downstream line speeds of up to 8 Mbps. Commencing at the end of November; the trial will lay the foundation for the intended commercial launch of higher speed broadband services across the UK by Spring 2006.
Cameron Rejali, managing director, products and strategy, BT Wholesale said: “The market trial represents a significant step forward in the development of our higher speed broadband products. Our highly successful technical trials generated positive feedback and high demand from both service providers and end-customers involved in the trial.
“This trial phase is essential to ensure our higher speed broadband products and systems meet the reliability standards that service providers and end users expect. This testing is essential given BT intends to roll out services of up to 8Mb across the whole of the UK. BT is committed to ensuring that everyone benefits from the broadband revolution whether they live in valleys, villages or city centres.”
Higher speed broadband services will allow people to run more bandwidth hungry applications, including video, gaming and music downloads at the same time, as well as email and surfing the web.
Following successful technical trials of the service in London and the Strathclyde region of Scotland, the wider market trial phase will include an initial 25 exchanges, rising to 53 exchanges as the trial progresses. The selected trial exchanges will be located in Greater London, Cornwall, Strathclyde, Northern Ireland and South Glamorgan.
The higher speed broadband trial will initially be available to 50,000 end users. Depending on the successful progress of the trial, BT aims to extend the availability of the trial to up to 150,000 end users, which could see additional trial exchanges enabled for higher speed broadband.
The trial will allow participating service providers to offer end-customers the fastest broadband service their line can reliably support with rate-adaptive downstream line speeds of up to 8 Mbit/s. BT intends to provide these services nationwide from all broadband enabled exchanges in the UK following the successful conclusion of the trials.
The market trial will apply to BT Wholesale’s BT Datastream service and BT IPstream service, provided the customer is on either capacity or usage based charging. The purpose of the market trial is to allow BT Wholesale and participating service providers to understand the technical stability of ADSL Max lines and become familiarised with the ordering, billing and service aspects of the service prior to commercial launch.
Service providers will shortly be invited by BT Wholesale to formally take part in the trial. Individual customer lines for the trial will be selected by service providers and the standard procedure for ordering ADSL broadband services from BT Wholesale will apply.
Higher speed broadband from BT Wholesale will deliver greater control and flexibility to service providers which will allow them to differentiate their products to reduce customer churn and attract new broadband subscribers.