Redstone strikes 'a deal with the devil'

How much would you have to be paid to get into bed with Bonfield and Bland?

How much would you have to be paid to get into bed with Bonfield and Bland?

Local loop pioneer Redstone Telecom has taken a surprising U-turn and signed a deal with BT. Under the deal, named MacroNet, Redstone will gain access to BT's fibre-optic networks. Redstone connected its first customer in its Portsmouth trial area last month, but lacks the resources to expand its services more fully. Using BT's backbone and Metro Area Networks will allow Redstone to concentrate its resources on installing new DSL equipment. The deal has also been seen as a move by BT to defuse criticism over its uncooperative approach to rival DSL providers. Redstone, however, is not a true competitor to BT, as it uses a different flavour of DSL technology and doesn't target business customers. Redstone was the first company in the UK to offer symmetrical DSL or SDSL services. SDSL is aimed exclusively at SMEs, unlike the more common asymmetrical DSL, pitched both at small businesses and domestic users. Using SDSL technology allows the company to host its equipment outside BT's local exchange premises, effectively bypassing the complex and politically fraught process of allocating space within the exchanges themselves.