Wednesday, February 2, 2005

BT to Raise ADSL Speeds, Trim Wholesale Prices

BT Wholesale announced plans to deliver higher speed broadband services throughout the UK together with a range of wholesale broadband pricing initiatives. The changes came as part of BT response to the Ofcom Telecommunications Strategic Review .

Starting in April 2005, BT will begin a trial of higher speed services in the 2 Mbps to 8 Mbps range using existing ADSL technology. In addition, BT Wholesale plans to run initial trials of ADSL2+ technology to support higher speed services of up to 18 Mbps. Further details of the timing, scope and location of the trials will be provided over the next few weeks.

From April 2005, BT Wholesale plans to reduce the wholesale cost to service providers of BT IPStream ADSL products by an average of about 8% in areas where there is a combination of high customer demand, high take up and lower costs. The reduction will be delivered as a rebate to the service provider of £1.10 per BT IPstream Home end user and £1.40 per BT IPstream Office and S product end user.

The company announced it will also reduce the costs for BT Datastream ADSL service providers at the same time to ensure continued compliance with the regulatory margin rule. Given current market and regulatory conditions, BT said it does not expect to make any further significant price changes to the existing ADSL IP Stream rental charges over the next 12 months, other than potentially some changes to support the take up of higher bandwidth services.

BT Wholesale has also announced it plans further price cuts for Local Loop Unbundling operators. BT would hope to cut the monthly rental on the fully unbundled local loop product by a similar proportion to the BT IPstream reduction. This will be subject to the speedy and satisfactory conclusion of two related Ofcom consultations and the wider review as well as following normal regulatory processes.

BT Wholesale expects that by the end of March 2005, LLU operators will be providing service from more than 600 exchanges with many of them having multiple operators providing service.

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