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BT hands control of DSL rollout to users
Tuesday 18 June 2002 12:08:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The press release on BT's website details the plans that BT have for the ongoing rollout of ADSL. It contains no specific exchange enabling dates, this is all down to the measurement of demand on each exchange.

BT are to run an on-line demand measuring system so that consumers and businesses can register their interest, also rather than just the vague hope that exists at present, people will be able to see how close to the trigger point their exchange is. BT are hoping that this will help to deliver DSL services to the areas that are likely to have the most demand. This scheme should provide the various broadband campaign websites with a solid interface to BT now.

BT Wholesale chief executive Paul Reynolds has pinned his words to the mast saying ""This exciting new scheme gives us the means to bring broadband Britain to every community where it is commercially viable. It will act as a true barometer of demand." Certainly it has placed the ball in the court of all those who say there is plenty of demand in their town, why haven't BT enabled my exchange? - now there is a public method of gauging such demand.

Onto some of the specifics - with regards to the list of 500 exchanges for June it appears that none have a date for getting enabled at this time. This lack of immediate rollout is a bit of a dissappointment, the hope of many was that at least another 100 exchanges would get done automatically. What has happened is that BT are due to publish the threshold level for 300 of the exchanges, and the remaining 200 once they've done further costing work. In addition BT will be surveying a further 400 exchanges between July and September and publishing the thresholds in phases over that time period. The total number of exchanges that will be eligiable under this scheme will be 900 by the end of September which will potentially raise DSL coverage to 80% of Britain's homes if they are all enabled.

Where is the website to register my interest and will existing interest registered via the BT Wholesale checker be counted? Well, we don't know, one would presume the new checker/registration system will be on www.bt.com/broadband. We are also sure that systems will be in place to stop someone with the phonebook for the local area just entering all the people in the area and crossing the threshold.

The aim of BT to reach it's one million DSL line threshold by Summer 2003 looks certain to be reached, if demand continues to grow it could be done by end of 1st quarter 2003.

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