News Burst: BT facing legal action over ADSL

Dominant telco accused of giving BT Openworld preferential treatment on ADSL connections

British Telecommunications (quote: BT) could be hit by legal action by the likes of AOL Europe and Wanadoo-owned Freeserve over its glitchy rollout of high-speed ADSL Internet access.

The introduction of BT's ADSL has been sluggish, with AOL Europe and Freeserve allotted about 100 connections a week. However, the competing ISPs claim BT may be providing its own ISP, Openworld, with as many as 2,000 connections a week.

"It seems BT is giving preferential treatment to Openworld," said an AOL Europe spokesman.

A Freeserve spokesman told the ISPCon conference Wednesday that if the figures were correct, Freeserve would consider taking legal action against BT. AOL is also consulting its lawyers, and is calling for BT or Oftel to clarify the installation figures.

Other countries in Europe, and notably the US, are already in the advanced stages of deploying ADSL, which is expected to greatly increase the appeal and usefulness of the Net.

More details to follow.

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