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Old 11-02-2006, 15:55   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: lincoln
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Home users will be able to get much faster broadband from the end of March, once BT Wholesale ends its beta trial of its 8MB DSL Max service.
The move will mean that ISPs can pass on higher speeds to their customers, as BT has committed to upgrading all its 5,464 broadband enabled exchanges.
Some ISPs already offer speeds of up to 8Mbits/sec, if a user lives in an area where the exchange has been part of the trial.
Significantly, DSL Max improves upstream speeds to up to 832Kbits/sec, although many home users will only get up to 448Kbits/sec - still faster than the current 256KB offered with most packages.
This means sending very large emails, making video calls or uploading content to a website will all become much quicker.
Four products will be offered to ISPs, two more suited to businesses and two for home users, although they will be sold as Premium and Max packages. So if a customer wanted faster upstream speeds at home, this is possible.
For businesses there is Datastream Office Max and IP Stream Office Max, which offers upstream speeds of between 64Kbits/sec and up to 832Kbits/sec.
For home users, there is Datastream Home Max and IP Stream Home Max, with upstream speeds of between 64Kbits/sec and up to 448Kbits/sec. All offer up to 8Mbits/sec downstream speeds.
Faster speeds use more of BT Wholesaleââ‚ ¬â„¢s network capacity, so cost more for ISPs to buy. But many, such as Wanadoo with its 8MB broadband service, currently donââ‚ ¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢t charge customers extra monthly fees.
Angus Flett, director of product management at BT Wholesale, believes this price freeze is unsustainable.
†˜What weâ₠¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢re seeing right now is a battle for speed so prices are tumbling. Consumers care about speed in so far as the application they use, but they also care about the quality [of service].â₠™
He believes in future more ISPs will sell packages tailored mainly for a specific application, such as video conferencing or Voice over IP, rather than the speed of service.
The industry is about two years from offering VDSL2 (Very High Speed DSL), which BT Wholesale has labs tested and hopes to begin trials of next year. This offers speeds of up to 50Mbits/sec downstream and 4Mbits/sec upstream, building on ADSL2 speeds of up to 24MB downstream and 1.5MB upstream.
Once available, this will open up the markets for many more bandwidth hungry services, such as high definition TV or big video conferencing facilities.
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