BT claims it is still on target to launch SDSL services for businesses at 100 exchanges this August, but the telco admitted most businesses are still happy with ADSL broadband and that take-up will be slow and dependant on specific business requirements.
Unlike ADSL, which is significantly slower upstream than downstream, SDSL is equally fast in both directions. This makes it more suitable than ADSL for businesses that need to send large amounts of information across the Internet -- such as small branch offices who need to upload customer records and firms that are hosting data.
Some companies are looking at SDSL for CCTV and it will suit others with remote database access needs, according to Neil Armstrong, product marketing manager at BT.
He said: "We won't see a wholesale migration to SDSL in the short-term. There are some businesses where symmetric bandwidth is a requirement but many are finding ADSL gives them everything they want. For the majority that is a huge improvement."
Fifteen ISPs are involved in the SDSL pilot at 100 exchanges, which are located in mainly metropolitan areas including London, Manchester, Leeds and the West Midlands.
BT was responding to claims by virtual network provider Vanco that businesses are being put off lower-cost ADSL broadband services because of myths that symmetric bandwidth is needed.
In a statement, Vanco said: "This argument is based on a combination of myths that bear little relation to the facts but are a highly convenient view for operators keen to protect revenues against the encroachment of low-cost broadband technologies."
But Armstrong agreed with many of Vanco's assertions that ADSL is suitable for most companies and that issues such as contention and quality of service are not really an issue.
He said: "We're very serious about broadband being the best solution for business customers and the technology is a secondary issue, whether it is SDSL or ADSL it is going to come down to the individual requirements of the businesses."