In addition to its announcement of plans to roll out ADSL-based high speed data service, BT
said it will upgrade 400 exchanges, covering nearly six million households and businesses, by next March.
The initial roll-out of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
services will take place in ten cities: London (within the M25), Cardiff,
Belfast, Coventry, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh,
“This roll-out plan is a major step towards making Britain a world
leader in the information revolution,” said Sir Peter Bonfield, BT’s
“By committing to a large scale roll-out, BT will play a vital part
in stimulating a competitive mass-market for consumers as well as
businesses of all sizes. It will drive new information industries and
services to the benefit of all.”
ADSL-enabled lines can carry information at between 10 and 40 times
the speed of a conventional modem. To do this, BT will add advanced
electronics to both ends: at the local exchange and at the office or
home. Streets and pavements will not have to be dug up.
BT says it will provide ADSL connections wholesale to service providers
and other operators, with the aim of opening up the market and
allowing other companies to develop combined packages of digital
content and digital connections. Pricing will be between £40
($64) to £150 ($240) per month to service providers for each
user they wish to connect.
The new ADSL service from BT will be an “always on” data connection,
enabling users constant access to the Internet throughout the day.