RealTime IT News

Scotland's iomart Goes the Last Unbundled Mile

[London, ENGLAND] Emerging as a major U.K. Internet service provider, Scottish telecoms company iomart Group plc announced Friday it will put its own equipment into BT local exchanges to beef up its existing ADSL services.

Up till now, iomart has been using BT's IP Stream product range to supply ADSL services in the U.K. via its Copperburst and consumer-oriented Madasafish brands. This will change next year when iomart becomes a beneficiary of unbundling the last mile of copper cable.

Initially, iomart says it will focus on the Scottish market, installing equipment in BT exchanges in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. However, it also has plans to take the service to the rest of the U.K.

Angus MacSween, iomart's chief executive, said ADSL was the entry point to building long term customer relationships. He said once these were established, iomart could add Web hosting, telephony services and business-class out-sourced e-mail to meet customers' needs.

"As a licensed telco with no legacy to protect, we can move swiftly to offer our customers the full potential from this new broadband technology," said MacSween.

In recent months, iomart has made substantial progress in the U.K.'s highly competitive ISP market. It claims 220,000 users for its Madasafish consumer Internet service and has installed its own Network Center in London's Docklands. It is one of only three U.K. ISPs to enjoy Cisco Powered Network Status.

iomart's roll-out of DSL services is expected to occur over a three-year period, during which it will offer a full range of high speed access products with applications such as video on demand, video conferencing and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

iomart floated on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange in April this year.