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Telewest to join trial frenzy with 2Mbps product
Tuesday 25 March 2003 18:30:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Telewest has announced its intention to trial a 2Mbps product on its cable modem service. Telewest will be looking for around 1500 users for the trials, so there is likely to be a large rush for places.

Interestingly the move appears to be aimed at digging away at BTs market, Gavin Patterson, MD of Telewest Broadband has gone on the record as saying "Not every internet user will want a 2Mb connection, but we're now well on the way to offering a menu of broadband services to suit different requirements, while BT perseveres with its one trick pony."

It would be interesting to know what BTs one trick pony is, because while BT Openworld and BT Retail are not offering a 1Mbps consumer service, ISPs like Internet Central and Nildram are offering 1Mbps and 2Mbps services partially using BT Wholesale services, and at prices as good as Telewest are likely to manage. The BT Wholesale platform with the BT Datastream products which can run at 0.5Mbps,1Mbps and 2Mbps when combined with In Span Handover techniques offers Service Providers access to all 1100+ BT ADSL exchanges and the ability to vary QoS and contention. Though cynically one could say that UK Broadband providers who are not using BT Wholesale services are trying to continue the perception that only BT owned service providers supply the service. ADSL as delivered in the UK by BT Wholesale is certainly not a one trick pony, it may not be a fast moving cheetah, but with steady pressure it does respond.

One thing that is certain is that the next year is going to see a change in the market place, with various providers aiming products at the premium home user who wants high speed services. At the end of the day most consumers will not care which technology is used, but will be looking at the overall package and the bottom line will remain the price.

Good luck to Telewest, lets hope the extra revenue will more than cover the costs and potentially allow coverage of their networks to expand inside their existing franchise areas.


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