ISPreview - BT ADSL Interview

ISPreview and Vispa put Questions to BT about ADSL

BT ADSL Interview
By Mark 'Killzat' Jackson : Aug 17th - 2000 : Page 1 of 2

"BT will provide a complete list of blocked ports within the week. However ports like IRC, ICQ are not expected to be blocked."


It's fair to say that there's been more than a little trouble surrounding BT's ADSL technology of late. Concerns over port blocking, quality of service, contention ratios and a number of other things just seem to keep clogging up the works. Not to mention that Websites and press releases can only tell you so much and usually what they do tell you is designed to be good.

It soon became clear that almost anybody who had heard of ADSL spoke of some concerns that the websites and PR's couldn't answer. Just recently Vispa approached us, they were concerned over recent port blocking news and offered to take some questions into a meeting they had scheduled with BT. We agreed and asked our readers to come up with some good questions, which they did.

The Interview

1) Will ICQ or IRC be blocked / Will Online gaming be blocked, ie, Quake 3 etc?

  • BT will provide a complete list of blocked ports within the week. However ports like IRC, ICQ are not expected to be blocked. There focus is blocking conference related ports such as Netmeeting, but until a full list of ports is revealed we will not take this as truth.

2) What is the absolute lowest download speed we will get if everyone is downloading at same time; no matter how unlikely that is, what is the figure?

  • A BT spokeperson said the worse case would see something along the lines of a 128k isdn connection, but beta trials has shown that it's much higher.

3) Why is it that after 4 years of ADSL testing - in London - you (BT) *still* haven't emulated the American experience of low-cost, high speed, unrestricted broadband comms?

  • BT said that they believe they had and that costs were coming down all the time. They highlighted US costs for rental as higher than in the UK and that the US audience was paying higher amounts due much more hidden into bills.

4) With Home Highway there was a serious issues with contracts, for example, when people moved house they were either charged for the remaining contract months or left the costs to the new owners. Will ADSL be more flexible to residential consumers where this is concerned?

  • An upgrade path will be introduced in due course. Expect something within 3 months.

5) Also when can people expect reasonable (better) contention ratios and reasonable download / upload rates?

  • BT said this was unknown, but current contention was that of many ISP's on general dial-up (Vispa Comment: That is pretty honest), and would only see it improve over the next 12 months as networks are upgraded. [ISPr Comment: Honest for 0845 ISPs, not Freecall, which is closer to broadband because it's unmetered.].

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