BT was tight-lipped about the launch of a new nationwide IP data service for small and medium-sized businesses last week. According to BT's web site and filings to Oftel, BTnet equIP provides VPN services and IP connectivity over dial-up and permanent links with speeds of up to 256k one way and 2Mbps the other -- identical to the ADSL trial currently nearing its end in London. The service will connect companies up to around 200 locations, said BT. No more information was offered.
An apparently related product, BTnet Start, is flagged to be launched on the 8th of June, providing "an entry level fixed link access to the global Internet particularly suitable for companies that have outgrown their PSTN or ISDN Internet connections", again suggesting ADSL. The service is priced at £2995 rental per year, ex VAT, although BT refused to comment on what would actually be provided. Until 8th September connection to BTnet Start will be free of charge, with the Oftel filing saying that the connection charge thereafter will be £500.