BT Midband News
BT Midband is the new middle of the road Internet access product from BT, the product is set to launch with a rough price of £20-25 according to vnunet.com.
The product appears to be a Home Highway/ISDN variant, and indications are that one 64kbps channel will remain connected permanently and the second 64kbps channel used if the bandwidth is needed. If a phone call is made (incoming or outgoing) then one channel will drop to handle the telephone call. It is interesting to note that BT are describing it as an Always-on’ e-mail notification service, so it may not be an 'always-on' service like ADSL is. Hopefully this will be clarified as the test/launch date approaches.
BT Midband is due a pilot test in Spring 2003, but given the costing it is looking like the only people this will appeal to are those who cannot get ADSL or Cable modem broadband access currently. That segment of the market is an ever decreasing proportion of the country and the concern is that by BT offering a middle of the road product it may actually impair the growth of broadband. BT needs to be working at both this low end speed area of the market and the greater than 512kbps arena. The time for faster products in the consumer arena is approaching and if the BT do not embrace appropriate technology that can handle more than 2Mbps for the consumer the UK will be left behind.