The trials in Milton Keynes and other parts of the UK has seen 478 lines connected as part of the trial. This is just some of the information leaking out from a briefing BT Wholesale gave to ISPs on the topic last week. Some more information is on the Samknows.com/broadband site.
NOTE: At this time ISPs are not ready to process orders using the new limits, so it is a case of sit and wait for the official announcements.
The big question has been what will be the new limit for the 0.5Mbps service. Well once BT Wholesale has the systems in place there will effectively be no limit, it will be a case of whether the line works or not. The guidelines at present are that any line believed to have a line loss of less 75dB will be given the green light for activation and lines with a higher loss will receive a faceplate (i.e. the NTE5 ADSL faceplate used on engineer assisted installs). There is still the chance that some lines may not be able to receive service, since as the signal loss increases the level of noise present can become critical. Another caution is that it is possible that some ADSL hardware may not work well on such high loss lines, but only time and widespread take-up will show what kit is best.
The availability of the 1Mbps ADSL services is set to increase dramatically, with the limit rising from 41dB to 60dB. This should mean that almost everyone who has a 0.5Mbps now, will be able to get the 1Mbps service. The 2Mbps service will currently remain at its loss limit of 41dB.
BT Wholesale is expected to make an announcement on the new limits in the next few weeks. Then there will be a period of time during which all of the online checkers are updated. This means we are looking at September 2004 for when people will be able place orders under the new limits.
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