Bulldog pursues BT in broadband market

With 20 Internet service providers on its books, Bulldog Communications could be poised to chew off a chunk of BT's wholesale broadband market

UK telco Bulldog Communications is making progress in its push to break BT's grasp on Britain's wholesale broadband market.

Twenty ISPs have now signed up to become distribution partners for Bulldog and promote and sell its broadband products, the company announced on Monday.

Bulldog is one of the few telcos who are trying to make local-loop unbundling (LLU) work in the UK. LLU allows operators to install their own kit in or near a local telephone exchange and sell telecoms products both to ISPs and directly to consumers -- thus competing with BT at the wholesale level.

LLU has been a big disappointment so far, with barely 1,000 lines unbundled thus far, but Bulldog says the process allows it to offer products that are different to those sold by BT Wholesale.

Bulldog offers versions of both ADSL and SDSL. The latter technology is often popular with businesses because it is symmetrical, providing an equally fast connection both upstream and downstream.

"Although ADSL products are more popular overall, the take-up of SDSL services is gaining rapidly. Bulldog's SDSL services allow their Distribution Partners to differentiate themselves from other service providers restricted to just reselling BT's standard portfolio of ADSL services," explained the company in a statement.

So far, though, Bulldog has only unbundled 35 local exchanges, all within Central London, covering a total of 350,000 homes and 50,000 businesses. Success in this area could help the telco to widen its DSL network.

Bulldog's distribution partners include Brightview, BT, C2 Internet, Centric Telecom, Claranet, Exponential-e, i2 Networks, Intensive Networks, Interoute, Mailbox Internet, Misitral Internet, NewMedia Workshop, Nildram, Pro-Net Internet and Net Access.

"Our business aim is to give our partners leading-edge specialist technology and expertise at competitive prices and to enable them to deliver an affordable, enriching high-quality broadband experience for their customers," said John Johnson, Bulldog's sales director, in a statement.

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