Kingston to offer first commercial UK ADSL service

Telecoms provider will deliver fast Net access, movies on demand, other digital services. But only in Hull, at first.

Kingston Communications is set to deliver the fist commercial rollout of ADSL Net access technology in the UK later this year.

Telecommunications and television services will be provided to cable subscribers in the Hull area, over Kingston's telecoms infrastructure, which is currently being upgraded to enable delivery using ADSL technology.

The ITC has awarded a license to provide ADSL services to Precis, a company formed by Hull Daily Mail Publications and Kingston Communications. Services will be provided by subsidiary Kingston Vision across Kingston's Hull and East Yorkshire network.

Kingston plans to launch a wide range of digital services, including digital television, Video On Demand (VOD), local programming and fast Internet access, and is currently in talks with content providers. A Kingston spokesman promised that the full suite of interactive services would be available to all 170,000 homes on its Hull area network by the end of the year.

Commenting on whether ADSL would be able to provide VOD of a high enough quality, a spokesman said, "All our services will be delivered at 4Mbit/s. We have been running a trial providing ADSL Internet access to the home of 60 members of staff for the last five months at 4Mbit/s." During this beta trial BskyB provided programming content.

The company plans to ultimately extend its services nationwide, as British Telecom makes the services available on its national network.