PSINet to offer DSL access to European companies

It'll take a big player to move BT on DSL services... Maybe PSINet is that player

PSINet has promised to deliver DSL across Europe as and when local telcos upgrade their networks, the company said Monday. In an aggressive move, the company issued a challenge to BT and promised a DSL wireless option, using a microwave radio link.

PSINet, one of the world's largest Internet service providers, will provide fully managed DSL services to European businesses, which the company said, can be connected in a few hours for a fixed monthly fee. The services connect PSINet's customers to its local Point of Presence (POP) and its global network of fibre.

It is already providing DSL services to businesses in Switzerland and will continue to roll out services as and when the market allows it to do so. "This is a long and painful process," said Harry Hobbs, president and chief operating officer PSINet Europe, "But if the telcos decide that this is not a good thing we will go to alternative access methods."

The company also plans to offer wireless DSL access through a partnership with Winstar Communications. This offers exactly the same benefits as the land-based service, but also includes seamless, two-way communication, as no phone line is required. As long as a business is located within 4.5km of a base station, connection is provided by the installation of a compact antenna. Customers are then connected to the local POP via microwave radio. This wireless access offers bandwidth of between 2Mb/s and 155Mb/s, with PSINet offering a 99.99 percent uptime guarantee.

Hobbs said that this would be the alternative for UK businesses if BT didn't act quickly. "We'll go round BT if we have to," said Hobbs. "It has to realise that once the customer has gone it's gone for good. We can offer DSL services up to a tenth cheaper than BT's leased line service," he said.

Easynet, another provider of Internet access for businesses, also recently announced that it would begin ADSL trials with its business customers in the next few months, with nationwide services beginning next year.

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