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More on NTL upgrades
Wednesday 10 August 2005 14:32:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The news of NTL offering a 10Mbps broadband service has hit the headlines of a lot of online and offline websites. Whether it will meet the headline of the 'fastest ever broadband' is all down to the time frame it is implemented in, and anyway there are plenty of countries around the world with faster access than 10Mbps. There is a danger for NTL that services like ADSL2+ may roll-out from the LLU companies - though in the past we have seen that companies often simply label LLU services as 'niche' products. A fairly large niche product in terms of households that potentially have the service available though.

A presentation document to NTL investors suggests that, NTL are looking to offer its 1Mbps users an upgrade to 2Mbps, and existing 2Mbps users an upgrade to 3Mbps. Though given that the document elsewhere says 10Mbps is set to be the standard cable speed, it is not clear what is meant. The growth of On-Net (NTL customers using NTL network) customers was just 3% in the last quarter compared to Q2 in 2004, with Off-Net (for example Virgin.Net) customers growing by 6%. More details in the PDF document located here.

There is no news on what the upstream speed will be for the 10Mbps service. A general rule is that the upstream speed needs to be at least 10% of the downstream speed, meaning people may be looking at 1Mbps for their upload.

One slight spoiler for some people is the news reported on The Register, that NTL are to start credit screening new customers. This may reduce the number of sign-ups, but NTL appear to be hoping it will reduce the number of non-payers. As with many other NTL initiatives it would appear to be part of a plan to maximise revenue from customers.

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