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1999 Archives

BT to Offer High-Speed Access for ADSL
For Immediate Release

BT (formerly British Telecom) has made the strongest hint yet that it will launch a high-speed Internet access service in coming months. It has agreed a "multi-million pound" order for ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) equipment from technology companies Fujitsu and Alcatel.

ADSL is a system that allows normal telephone connections to access the Net 10 times faster than is possible with a normal telephone line and a modem. The equipment order will see ADSL systems installed in 400 telephone exchanges across the country between now and next spring.

Although a BT spokesman refused to be drawn on when an ADSL service will be launched, he said: "It would be odd to have all that bandwidth in place by then and for there not to be any services making use of it. At this stage we cannot say any more about the roll-out but there will be some companies putting their heads above the parapet in the near future."

Using ADSL, heavy Internet users could opt for a flat-rate charge of say, 30 pounds sterling per month, and have unlimited, high-speed, always-on Internet access. There would be no additional telephone call charges and no need to dial-up. The coming of ADSL will bring with it the chance to view multimedia, such as audio and video, much faster and easier.

Sir Peter Bonfield, BT's chief executive, said: "We want the UK to be a world leader in the information revolution and our roll-out programme, which we will announce shortly, will be very aggressive by international standards. BT intends to be at the heart of the information society, making it possible for a wide range of independent service providers to connect their customers over our world-class networks."


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