BT Wholesale are carrying out a number of technical evaluations on ways to extend the reach of ADSL services beyond the current limits. A combination of approaches are likely to be considered. These include: Looking at the performance of existing DSLAMs and how a rate adaptive service would perform with both the downstream and upstream varying in speed. Another option ls evaluating systems like Paradynes ReachDSL product, which on paper offers distances of 10km.
All of these trials are pure technical trials at this time, and may result in no change to existing product ranges, or even new products. The results of the trials will decide what happens, but we hope that if significant coverage benefits can be obtained that BT will deploy a solution. The four test areas are Milton Keynes, Balmoral (Belfast), Lowestoft and Kesgrave, in total around 50 lines are being evaluated. The fact that BT has moved away from simple laboratory testing is important, as it will allow BT to obtain performance data for lines in a real environment. Prior to the original deployment of ADSL in the UK similar tests were run to determine limits that BT at that time could be confident of working well, but since then technology has improved and a re-evaluation may show further reach can be obtained.
There are no places on trials for the public, the kit used is only test kit and does not connect users to the Internet and we must warn people that no announcements results wise are expected until Summer 2004. At least BT is now known to be considering changes to the planning limits and if this means fewer blackspots of availability on existing exchanges that is good news.
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