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New BT Wholesale Products
Saturday 17 April 2004 10:06:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Following on from yesterdays news about changes to the way that the charging systems will work, UK-Bug has news on some new BT IPStream products. It appears that at last a Home 2000 product is to be launched, and oddly a Home 250 product.

Home 250 is nothing new, in fact it was considered and dropped last year. One must wonder what has changed in the market place, other than Datastream suppliers, Telewest and NTL having similar products. While Home 250 is ADSL it will not be a full 'broadband experience' because a lot of streaming video will not run at that low rate, and many sites are offering streaming at 450kbps which even taxes the standard Home 500 products. If and it is a big if, BT Wholesale launches Home 250 with a much longer reach, then it has a place in providing a basic faster than HH/Midband service in the UK. If it is longer reach this may link to the rumoured increase in the attenuation limit to 70dB.

Home 2000, the saying too little too late comes to mind. Many countries have grown used to speeds of 1.5Mbps as the standard product, with 3Mbps being not uncommon. Alas the UK is following its traditional slow stepping stone route that keeps us a few steps behind the leading edge. After the failure to launch Home 2000 last year, it was very likely that 2004 would bring its appearance. The lack of talk of a Home/Office 3000 product is annoying but is no big surprise, one has come to expect innovation to not stretch beyond marketing in the UK.

Pricing wise, it all looks very average. Home 250, is pencilled in at £12.25+VAT, and Home 2000 at £38+VAT. Home 250 is just 75p cheaper than Home 500, which means it will not appeal on price terms. Home 2000 is proportionally more expensive than Home 1000, though this may be due to realisation that it will appeal to users who use more than the average download per day. This wholesale pricing would suggest high street prices of £17.50 (inc VAT) for Home 250, and around £55 (inc VAT) a month minimum for Home 2000.

The capacity/usage news masked to some extent a new option that will give ISP's or end user's the ability to control their downstream speed. This would combine with the new capacity and usage models and maybe give users some control over their monthly costs if metered billing becomes the norm. The proposed speed settings are 64, 150, 250, 500, 750, 1000, 1500 and 2000kbps (kilo bits per second). There is a real chance that this scale of speeds is actually BT's attempt at a downstream rate adaptive service, something else that has been rumoured in the last few months. In which case it is not true rate adaption, some people had hoped rate adaption may have meant BT allowed lines to adapt between 250kbps and 8Mbps, and run at what ever the modem and DSLAM could manage without errors.

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss points raised in this news article visit the BT Wholesale section on our message boards.


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