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Extended Reach ADSL Pilot Feedback
Friday 25 July 2003 10:05:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The pilot currently run by BT Wholesale is progressing and so far 200 lines have been connected who previously failed under the old 55dB line loss test limit.

Service providers have submitted 1,500 orders to the pilot, unfortunately 500 lines have been rejected as they are above the new 60dB line loss threshold, and a further 800 lines are making their way through BT Wholesales systems.

It is not too late to apply for the pilot via an ISP, but BT Wholesale is saying that once 1,000 lines are activated under the pilot scheme they will stop taking any further orders. The ISPs should now be starting to ask users about how stable or not the service is, what hardware they are using and various other questions. BT Wholesale has given ISPs a standard form for these questions, hopefully the feedback will help to show if any particular ADSL modems work better or worse than others at the new limits.

The number of failures is unfortunate, though those who have failed probably have a lot of other words to describe it. The pilot was not ever going to get all applicants connected, BT has said that the new limits will probably take coverage from 94% to 97% on average across all enabled exchanges. One problem at present is that there are no figures available for each exchange, e.g. some may be as high as 99.5% and others way down to 60%. People are calling for clarity and transparency from BT Wholesale on the trigger levels, but even those chasing ADSL on enabled exchanges need greater clarity.

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