BT ditches broadband line length limit

BT ditches broadband line length limit

Summary: BT says it has effectively removed the limit on 512Kbps services, bringing the prospect of universal broadband coverage in the UK one step closer

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TOPICS: Networking
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BT's broadband services will be as widely available in the UK as analogue TV by the middle of next year, the telco said on Wednesday.

After running a series of trials in broadband blackspots around the UK, BT has managed to extend the reach of its ADSL products.

At present, a 512Kbps ADSL connection usually won't work over a line longer than 6km. This means that around 4 percent of homes and businesses -- around 1,000,000 potential customers -- can't get the service despite being located in an area that has been broadband-enabled by BT.

BT says it has now dropped this requirement and removed the limit imposed by the length of the line for 512Kbps services. The company says it is confident that 99.4 percent of the entire UK population will be able to get broadband via their phone line by the summer of 2005, when it will have completed its programme of upgrading local exchanges to offer ADSL.

"Who do you know who can't get the four main analogue TV channels with decent reception? That's the level of coverage we'll have," said BT Wholesale spokesman Francis King.

The remaining 0.6 percent of the population will be located in areas where BT still hasn't upgraded the local telephone exchange to support ADSL, or will have a telephone line and internal wiring that is in too poor a condition to support a high-speed connection.

BT will begin accepting orders on 6 September from people who have previously failed the line length test. Internet service providers are already getting ready to snap up these additional million potential customers.

"This is going to benefit a lot of people who are on the fringe of broadband coverage," said a spokesman for Eclipse Internet, which began accepting advance orders on Wednesday afternoon.

As well as making 512Kbps available to virtually the whole population, the success of BT's trials also means that 1Mbps ADSL will now work over 6km -- compared to a previous limit of 4km.

The 512Kbps line limit has generally affected people in rural locations, where BT's telephone exchanges cover a wider area than exchanges in metropolitan locations. Wednesday's announcement is good news for them, and also for people in Milton Keynes where broadband availability is below average. The Milton Keynes traffic grid system means that telephone lines often have to take a circuitous route, meaning an unusually high number are longer than 6km.

BT also announced on Wednesday that it has connected its three-millionth wholesale broadband customer.

Topic: Networking

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5 comments
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  • And about time too...but after the hype...will it work ?? I for one certainly hope so, but , having been turned down in the past for so many varying reasons, who can blame me for being sceptical !
    anonymous
  • Having just applied to BT for 512K broadband connection and been told that I cannot receive it (though my house is only 5.5Km from the local exchange), the BT statement in your report rings somewhat hollow. In fact it is cleary nonsense!!.
    Bt should either check thier facts before issuing such misleading statements or at least ensure that all the various departments in thier empire are singing from the same hymm sheet.
    P.S. My digital tv reception is excellent let alone the analogue reception!!!
    anonymous
  • I am well within the 6k limit in a newly developed area and recently failed the line test. I really hope that the "removal of the 6k" limit sorts my problem out!
    anonymous
  • It is a joke, ain't it? I applied last October for broadband and was told that my line had passed the test, so I git it......and it didn't work! Well, not between about 17:00 and 07:00, which, let's face it is the time when we mostly use the Internet. Numerous phone calls to my ISP (AOL) failed to resolve the issue. Telecom, as far as I know, won't talk to the Great Unwashed, and now it seems that my line length is too great to allow me to have Broadband. I live about 6 miles form Ipswich (Yes, I know "Carrot Crunchers" and all that, and about 3 miles from my local exchange, so I'm hardly remote from civilization, am I? Make me laugh really......Any ideas how I can get Telecom to send an engineer out to check on my house wiring etc? I mean, it did work for a while....Oh, and my dial up connection speed ranges from about 24kbps to a max of 33kbps....Line fault?
    anonymous
  • A bit of info for people living far away from exchanges, we live in a rural area 8 miles from the exchange and after numerous attempts to get BB we failed until recently a BT engineer locally had been doing a trial with a different modem a Netgear DG632 which is a self powered modem / router with USB & Ethernet.
    Im with AOL but BT gave me the modem and plugged it in and hey presto I have 512kbps service after trying for 18months to get it.
    They did nothing to line but make sure your internal line is good, the BT voyager modems that are supplied by BT and AOL will not deal with the signal drop over a long line but the Netgear will hold the signal.
    Maybe worth a try for some hope this helps.
    anonymous