Shortage of engineers blamed for ADSL delays

BT's ADSL delays continue, but Internet service provider Zen claims it can step into the breach

While businesses and consumers wait for BT to get its act together on ADSL, one ISP claims it can offer "next week" service.

BTopenworld has admitted that a shortage of BT engineers means businesses could have to wait up to two months to get their broadband services installed. A similar wait is predicted for consumers.

Sales manager at Zen Internet Rod Fielding on the other hand claims it has no waiting list. "There is a limited supply. BT is rationing it out, initially allowing one order per day and now four per day," he says. "But if we take an order today it means delivery next week."

Not so for BT which claims a pre-order backlog of 100,000 customers means people will have to wait. "A slight shortage of engineers means it could be up to two months before you get ADSL installed," says a BTopenworld spokesman. Home users eager to get their hands on the delayed consumer product will also be disappointed.

"Consumer ADSL will probably be launched in the last week of August and will be subject to the same delays."

Zen also relies on BT engineers to go into premises but has had no problems so far. "They could screw us up but so far so good," says Fielding.

ISP Zen has been supplying UK businesses with broadband services since the beginning of July. A 512Kbps service costs £110 per month, a 2Mbps service £190.

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