Broadband News

So what do we think?

BT have released their third quarters figures along with various comments on the different segments of their group. The full press release can be seen here.

So what is said about broadband in it - well very little that we dont know really - BTwholesale has 198 customers (ISP's and other companies), with 127,000 customers on ADSL at the end of December 2001, which if growth is following the usual pattern should be around 135,000 to 140,000 now. The Wires-only services are described as "The cost reductions that these new product variants bring have allowed further price reductions to be introduced and will be instrumental in helping to drive broadband demand over the coming months." - which doesnt suggest sweeping price cuts in that area perhaps, but if you read what Ben Verwaayen said to journalists at the meeting ie. that broadband prices would fall substantially, with a more detailed announcement in two weeks time. Then things look a bit more exciting again.

Remember that everyone complains about the lack of SLA/SLG well BT felt it right to point out they do exist - and to talk it up nicely, though if you have previously read the detail on the SLG's for individual ADSL users they mean very little. The SLG is based on meeting targets, and compensation etc only is given to ISP's if ISP's report the violations within the appropriate time frame. For business users to flock to ADSL it needs an SLA/SLG aimed directly at the end user, people dont care that 90% of lines are fixed in X hours, they want their line to be fixed.

Interestingly nothing appears to have been mentioned about the Cornwall DSL initiative, a press release came out on the 5th February giving rough dates of the first exchanges i.e. by the end of March - the release can be read here.

The other BT company involved in DSL is their ISP BTopenworld which appears to be plodding along as usual - with a turnover of £162m and losses of £100m in the 9 months of the year so far. But customers will be pleased to know that BTopenworld has improved customer service in the last quarter apparently.


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