Kingston adds voice to broadband assault

Humberside's telecommunications service provider has joined the growing number of companies criticising BT for its handling of ADSL

Kingston Communications has added its voice to mounting concern over the lack of broadband services in the UK and said it still has no immediate plans for a consumer offering.

The comments come on the back of results which reveal that the telco has gone £9.65m into the red in the last financial year to March. Earlier in the year, Kingston announced it was putting nationwide consumer ADSL services on hold until spring of 2002.

Kingston has been at the forefront of ADSL developments in the UK. As an independent telco for the Hull region it pioneered an interactive TV service delivered via ADSL. In Hull the service has been a success, but the telco admits that more work needs to be done before it can be expanded beyond the city.

"We have to enhance the consumer experience and add more services to up the money they are spending," said a Kingston spokesman. This reflects a wider worry that interactive TV is not appealing to consumers in the way originally hoped for.

Outside of Hull, Kingston is, like the rest of the industry, reliant on BT to reach consumers' homes. It has become increasingly disillusioned with local loop unbundling -- the process by which other operators take control of the network away from BT. "The process has been very difficult and flawed," said the spokesman.

Despite this Kingston is pushing ahead, albeit slowly, with a roll out of DSL to businesses. It plans to put its equipment into four unbundled exchanges in Leeds and four in the East Midlands imminently. "We are doing it slowly and will take a view on how viable it is going forward," said the spokesman.

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