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BT under fire for ADSL retreat

ISP outraged over 'Britain has enough broadband' claim...
Written by Heather McLean, Contributor

ISP outraged over 'Britain has enough broadband' claim...

BT has been attacked by the head of ISP XchangePoint over its refusal to roll out any more ADSL exchanges. Keith Mitchell, CEO of XchangePoint, rubbished BT's claim of 'lack of demand' and said cost is the real reason for its decision. He said: "There's a lot of demand for ADSL. BT hasn't covered enough exchanges because a few months ago it lowered the price of its ADSL offering, essentially making it economically less viable to rollout." A BT spokesman disagreed with Mitchell, saying: "There isn't huge demand for broadband. We've spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on converting exchanges to ADSL across urban areas and we only have a few users per exchange." He added: "We reduced our prices to create demand, yet of all the ISPs BT supplies, collectively they have just 100,000 customers - when the service is available to 60 per cent of all UK households." A spokeswoman from BT said the company has not suspended its rollout of ADSL but added: "We will not roll out any more exchanges until we see that demand has risen." She said that the telco fulfilled its promise to create of 1,000 exchanges by September 2001. BT is currently rolling out broadband by satellite to Northern Ireland and Scotland. Customers who do not live within 5.5km of a BT ADSL exchange can now pay around £1,000 to hook up to a satellite and £69.99 per month. The first 250 SMEs to sign up in Northern Scotland will be eligible for a government subsidy.
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