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What is this devil that BT has unleased?
Tuesday 18 June 2002 15:22:00 by Andrew Ferguson

From user reaction in the ADSLguide forums its clear that so far people arent happy with what BT have announced today.

Many are seeing it as a delaying tactic or BT just not bothering to enable any further exchanges, since people see the process as having such high limits that their local town will never meet it's target.

From reading the BT press release it appears that the system will work in two stages. From 1st July a new checker will appear that records and displays the number of registrations for every exchange that isn't DSL enabled in the UK. ISP's will be able to input interest from customers who contact them, whether a user who hasn't chosen an ISP yet will be able to register interest is unclear.

This initial registration is the first step, once a threshold of interest is reached, BT announce the possibly enabling of that exchange and then ISP's have 6 weeks to chase the people on their records and get enough confirmed orders - then if enough orders are placed BT will put the exchange onto the build programme for ADSL deployment. There is no mention of how long this build stage will take, i.e. it might be another 2-3 months which raises the problem of someone making a firm order but then having to cancel for plenty of good reasons.

At present there are many unanswered questions, and it seems only ISP's will be able to input previously recorded data, so people with already running campaigns may be back to square one again. We will try to contact BT and see what their position is for the various campaigns that are running, i.e. does act as an intermediary or will campaigns be able to forward the data in say a suitable spreadsheet format for bulk inclusion.

One interesting point of the whole exercise is the cost to the ISP's - we may see some of the smaller ISP's not bothering to register demand and chase enquires at a later date, simply because the mark-up margins are so low. This is likely to have the effect of pushing consumers towards the larger ISPs who have the people to manage such schemes e.g. BT Retail, BT Openworld, AOL, Freeserve et al.


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