ZDNet UK has the news that Wanadoo is to move towards using BT Datastream based services purchased via the Energis ISPConnect product. Users of the existing Wanadoo service need not panic, since the move is not due until later in the year, and it is not clear if Wanadoo are going to move all customers or just some.
Wanadoo and its previous incarnation Freeserve have often talked about LLU, hopefully the move to Datastream does not mean an end to any ventures into that field, as a provider the size of Wanadoo should have been able to kick start a nationwide LLU roll-out.
The move to a Datastream based model by Wanadoo means that the BT Wholesale owned DSLAMs at the exchanges will be still be used, but the traffic from each exchange is moved on the Energis network at a much earlier stage than with the IPStream wholesale model. This in theory gives a provider better control over the QoS, and offers potential cost savings. The flexibility of Datastream products is not that unique though, as we are seeing a number of the IPStream providers actually implementing what were previously Datastream type services. A good example of this is Eclipse with its Flex broadband product range.
Whether the move will generate lower prices to the end-user or just increase margins slightly at Wanadoo is impossible to predict. Datstream products are sometimes cheaper than the IPStream range at the retail level, but occasionally this is at the expense of the quality of service. The largest Datastream ISP at present in the home market is Tiscali, and the range of user experience has not been that great to date. Whether this is inherent in the Datastream platform that BT Wholesale provide, or down to how Tiscali have implemented the service is open to debate.
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