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BT Delays 24Mbps Broadband Exchange Upgrades

Posted: 15th Aug, 2008 By: MarkJ
BT Wholesale has delayed 440 crucial telephone exchange activation dates, which would have brought 'up to' 24Mbps ADSL2+ broadband services to a significant swathe of the UK via its Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) product. To make matters worse, a further 320 appear to have been completely removed from its schedule.

The Samknows site reports that the majority of BT's original dates have now been put back by up to four months, seriously denting any plans ISPs may have had to launch faster broadband products before Christmas:

Before the latest setback there were 346 exchanges scheduled to offer the service to ISPs by the end of August 2008. Now there will be just 111. The majority of the dates have been pushed back three to four months, with those previously scheduled for August moving to November and those in November moving to February/March 2009.

Worryingly for some, 320 exchanges find themselves with no activation date at all after the changes. Note that this does not mean that BT have changed their minds and will not be bringing ADSL2+ to your exchange. Instead it’s likely that reasonable estimated dates cannot be made at this time, hence they’ve been removed from the schedule temporarily.

It had been known that some UK ISPs were planning to wait until late-August/September to launch their 'up to' 24Mbps products, while others were going to hold out until early next year. We suspect that BT's delays may cause a number of providers to re-evaluate their plans, which could result in some holding off introduction for up to another year or possibly more.

Entanet, thanks to its privileged position in BT's initial WBC trials, is presently the only operator able to provide BT's ADSL2+ products through its vISP resellers. The delays have also handed BT’s rivals some additional room to continue growing market share via unbundled (LLU) networks.
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