BT Wholesale were due to finish their trials with the Symmetric DSL product range on 7th August 2003, but this has been delayed to 7th September 2003. For the providers taking part in the trial, no new orders will be taken until after 28th July.
Symmetric DSL will be available in a number of speeds, namely 256kbps, 512kbps, 1Mbps and 2Mbps all with identical upstream and downstream speeds. The service will be a fixed speed, i.e. no use of rate adaption. The interesting part is that other than the basic speed packages two large variants will exist. BT IPstream Symmetric and BT Datastream Symmetric, IPStream will be a 10:1 contended product and is what most providers are selling in the trials. The interesting area will be BT Datastream Symmetric, a number of BT Datastream products using ADSL already exist, and this is how a 50:1 contention 2Mbps is offered by a number of providers currently. BT Datastream Symmetric offers the chance for 1:1 contention SDSL products or even higher contended products (e.g. 25:1) aimed at the hobby market where people are looking for low cost but higher speed upstream products.
It is very unlikely that SDSL pricing will be as low as the ADSL products, but as Datastream has done for ADSL, it will allow providers via the various Datastream wholesalers to target corners of the market that BT are ignoring.
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