Bulldog planning 20Mbps broadband

Broadband Britain could be turned on its head later this year, if Bulldog's plan to offer a 20-megabit-per-second service comes to fruition

Bulldog Communications is planning to launch a broadband product this year that is several times faster than any existing services on offer in Britain.

The telco, one of the few companies trying to compete with BT through local-loop unbundling, is working on a 20 megabits per second (Mbps) product that it hopes to sell to businesses and high-end home users.

"We're developing a 20Mbps product, which I think will launch at the back-end of this year," Richard Greco, chief executive of Bulldog, told ZDNet UK News on Wednesday.

Precise details aren't yet available, but it's likely that the product will be an SDSL product -- a symmetrical service giving users high-speed connectivity both upstream and downstream -- rather than an ADSL one. Greco also said that pricing hasn't been set.

Bulldog already sells several broadband services that are faster than those offered by BT Wholesale. For example, its AllTime 4000 ADSL product gives a 4Mbps downstream link, with a 400 kilobits per second (Kbps) uplink, for £72.99 per month.

At 20Mbps, Bulldog's forthcoming product will be fast enough to compete with leased lines. The broadband boom has already pushed leased line prices down, and this trend could continue once this 20Mbps product launches, assuming Bulldog can sell it at an attractive price.

Bulldog has used local-loop unbundling to install equipment in BT's local exchanges and offer competing services. Currently, its network of unbundled exchanges covers London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Cambridge and parts of South-East England.

Greco, who was attending the launch of Tottenham Hotspur's Wi-Fi network, also said that Bulldog is seeing a lot of interest in wireless equipment and services.

"We’re seeing huge demand for Wi-Fi," he said, explaining that some couples want to install an 802.11b network so they can both work from home, while families want to unwire their houses to prevent children fighting over a single computer connected to the Internet.

Last October, Bulldog teamed up with MyZones to launch a product to allow customers share their high-speed connection wirelessly.