BT launches broadband, but delays persist

Broadband arrives but you could be waiting months before you get it

BT's long-awaited ADSL service -- BTopenworld -- launched Monday but you won't get your hands on it straight away.

BTopenworld has already warned users there could be a waiting list, claiming a shortage of engineers and a backlog of 100,000 pre-subscriptions will mean delays of up to two months before equipment can be installed in homes.

The roll out of ADSL has been subject to a series of delays: the latest claimed insufficient triallists had not allowed the system to be adequately tested. Critics have accused BT of deliberately delaying ADSL roll out in order to protect its ISDN business.

BTopenworld is a separate company from its parent telco and BT is obliged to offer ADSL to any ISP that wants it. Easynet, Supanet, Madasafish and Demon have all committed to roll out ADSL services imminently. Demon has accused BT of being anti-competitive by offering openworld ADSL at a preferential rate.

The UK's journey towards to ADSL has been a slow one. Its arrival has been delayed four times since the original March deadline. ADSL will provide speeds of up to ten times that of conventional dial-up access and with a monthly flat subscription fee it is hoped will eventually overtake narrowband access.

With narrowband unmetered access currently in disarray it is hoped ADSL prices will fall enough to give it mass market appeal.

BTopenworld will initially launch with a price tag of £39.99 a month, and a one-off installation fee of £150. It will have to compete with Telewest, which is offering cable broadband services, and recently cut the cost of its blueyonder service to £33 per month.

Go to Rupert Goodwins 'Broadband technology roundup at AnchorDesk UK.

Take me to Oftel plans to control leased line prices.

Take me to the Unmetered Access Special

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