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By: MarkJ - 2 September, 2009 (11:06 AM)
BT Wholesale has announced the introduction of its long awaited Wholesale Broadband Managed Connect (WBMC) over IPstream Connect product, which is part of the operators next-gen 21st Century Network ( 21CN ) platform. The move is crucial for many BT based UK ISPs because it will make it easier and potentially less costly to run 'up to' 24Mbps ( ADSL2+ ) and future fibre optic ( FTTC , FTTP ) based broadband services.

Previously many BT based ISPs were restricted to using the Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) product to deliver 24Mbps services. However this often required ISPs to provide their own backhaul for the service while also maintaining their existing links, which is a costly solution, especially for smaller providers.

By contrast BT Wholesale Broadband Managed Connect (WBMC) over IPstream Connect can include its own single backhaul solution, which makes it both easier and hopefully cheaper for BT based UK ISPs to move their existing 20CN (8Mbps ADSL etc.) platforms and customers over to 21CN (24Mbps ADSL2+ etc.). Admittedly this is a bit of an over simplification and there are other solutions.

Sian Baldwin, Director, Broadband and Content Services at BT Wholesale said:

“This service opens the door for communications providers, particularly our smaller and mid-tier customers, to offer their end users next generation broadband services including the up to 24Mbit/s copper services and fibre access. It also provides new entrants with the opportunity to play in the broadband market.”

Still, coverage of BT's latest services remain somewhat limited, with many existing unbundled ( LLU ) broadband ISPs already able to offer comparable 24Mbps choices and at a far lower price. BT confirms that its new service is available from exchanges serving just 40% of UK homes and businesses; it will reach 55% by spring 2010.

Dave Richards, Chief Technology Officer, 186k said:

“We are keen to continue to offer our customers the very best possible service. 186k is pleased to be participating in BT's fibre access pilot and welcomes the introduction of WBMC over IPstream Connect.

Together these developments enable us to simply and cost effectively offer our customers the choice and flexibility of next generation copper and fibre broadband services as they rollout. This includes providing specialist bandwidth tools allowing customers to pay for additional capacity online and dedicated QoS options prioritising VoIP or Web services with the click of a button.”

Andrew Dickinson, Sales and Marketing Director, Griffin Internet, added:

“Griffin is keen to stay ahead in the broadband market so we can offer our partners and their customers the very best possible service. We have been working closely with BT Wholesale on 21CN and we are really excited about the benefits that WBMC and IPstream Connect offer.”

“IPstream Connect is a far more efficient way of interconnecting with BT Wholesale’s IP backbone and WBMC will bring faster and more business-grade ADSL to the small and medium-sized business market.”

BT hopes to bring its future fibre optic broadband services within reach of 1 Million UK homes and businesses by March 2010, rising to 1.5 Million by early summer and 10 million by 2012. In the meantime many UK ISPs that have been waiting for today’s announcement will finally be able to prepare the launch of faster 24Mbps ADSL2+ services.
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