BT Datastream, larger back-haul interfaces available
BT Datastream and in particular its In-Span Handover (ISH) variant have started to bring 1Mbps and 2Mbps ADSL connections down into the same pricing brackets that 512kbps was available at two years ago. The problem with the product has being its availability across the country, since the teleco's using the ISH system were limited to 76 exchanges for each 155Mbps backhaul connection.
BT Wholesale has now improved this situation, since a 622Mbps connection is now available for the point where the data leaves the BT Wholesale network to join the other teleco's network. As well as allowing much greater bandwidth the number of supported virtual paths has increased to 255 per interface. These changes should hopefully offer some cost savings to providers and increase the availibity of various contention 1Mbps and 2Mbps products around country. There is even support for four 622Mbps connections at a single location which is an STM-16 (2.5Gbps) connection, which should allow the cost per user to be reduced further.
This emphasis on much larger scale handover links means that the infrastructure is falling into place to cope with the next one to two million ADSL users. While these large connections will work out cheaper per user, the large initial cost will mean that the flexibility of In-Span Handover will remain the domain of teleco's with large enough networks already in place to cope with these amounts of data.