British Telecom, through
its Internet & Multimedia Services division (IMS), plans to
launch an interactive content service for consumers over ADSL, the
new high speed digital service also announced this week.
BT’s offering will consist of high-speed Internet access, enhanced
Internet applications and what it calls “a compelling range of content
services.” The whole package will become available from March 2000.
“This new service will transform the use of the Internet in the UK and
provide a dynamic addition to the choice of information, commerce
and entertainment services available to consumers,” said John Swingewood,
director of BT IMS.
A trial of BT interactive services has been running for several months
in north and west London, and a separate trial of video-on-demand
was conducted in East Anglia in 1994. BT says that the new content
service will be based on findings from these two trials.
One of the key features of ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line),
besides its high speed, is that it enables users to be online all the
time, using the same line for voice and data.
“The trial is allowing us to experiment with an exciting range of visual
and audio enriched content and fast Internet services to determine consumer
reaction to an ‘online all the time’ world,” said John Swingewood.
“Customer feedback suggests that the trial service has changed the way
in which the Internet is used and users are enjoying the combination of
unmetered usage, a high-speed service and an exciting range of content.
This is endorsed by a virtually zero percent churn rate.”