Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 18:45 GMT


Business: The Company File

BT speeds internet access

BT says the internet will grow fast, requiring higher capacity

British Telecommunications says it is hugely expanding its UK capacity for internet traffic in a programme which it says will make its dedicated data network 60 times faster.

The company says the plan will also make the network able to handle 300 times its current capacity.

The changes are part of an already announced 5bn ($8bn) five-year investment plan.

BT is beefing up its Internet Protocol (IP) backbone: the telecoms equivalent of motorways along which data can travel at high speed before rejoining the normal telephone network for the last leg to an office, home or mobile phone.

Connection by most web users in the UK to their internet service provider (ISP) is currently made via a local call through BT, which controls the local networks.

Costly calls

The access is charged at the same rate per minute as telephone calls, and there have been complaints that internet growth in Britain has been restricted by the cost of connection.

In the US, low-cost one-off connection charges have helped boost the development of the internet.

On Tuesday, the UK telecoms regulator, Oftel, launched a campaign for lower net connection charges, saying they should better reflect actual costs to the provider and also offer greater flexibility.

The proposals come hard on the heels of BT's own internet call charging initiative, announced earlier this month, in which it opened up the prospect of offering flat-rate rather than metered pricing.

Huge growth

BT's mainly optical-fibre IP network is Britain's biggest, and the company says its growing use should lead to calls becoming cheaper.

Forecasts have said traffic generated from internet, e-commerce and multimedia services will rise by 400% a year.

BT says however fast net use grows, it will have the capacity to meet demand.

It says one in every four calls made across its networks is currently for internet access.

The IP dial-access market is forecast to grow to 30 billion call minutes by March next year, and to 140 billion by March 2004.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |


The Company File Contents

Internet Links


BT


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles