BT and Telewest talk tough on broadband

Telewest hit back at BT Thursday as its high-speed alternative to ADSL was officially announced.

The long-awaited announcement sees Telewest go head to head with BT, which introduces ADSL in the autumn. With experts predicting a rosier future for cable modem than for ADSL the battle of words between the cable operator and the telecoms giant is gathering pace.

A Telewest spokesman has no doubt about which technology is better. "We have the stronger platform. People are not yet convinced by the quality of ADSL. No-one is convinced by the price and it is unclear how end-users will be charged. ADSL is excellent technology but the question is 'does it work well down copper?'. BT must make their case."

In response BT rigorously defended its ADSL offering. "The quality is excellent and has been proven in our lengthy trials. As for pricing we are going to be wholesaling the technology so the price will be a matter for the service providers," a spokeswoman said.

The cable modem rollout will begin in the first quarter of next year, offering customers video streaming and rapid download times -- approximately two minutes to download a standard CD. No pricing details are yet available although it is expected to be offered at approximately £30 per month.

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