BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  Sci/Tech
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Monday, 8 April, 2002, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
BT offers new way to connect to net
BT van
BT in new drive towards broadband
A new way to connect to the internet without the need for an intermediary has been announced by BT.

The popularity of broadband has prompted BT to devise a new system which directly connects customers to the internet in what net commentators are describing as a fundamental shift for the industry.

Details were scarce as a full announcement is not due until later this month, but BT says that it will be a "back to basics" service.

"This is the natural way to access the internet. It is getting back to basics and it a way of BT Retail offering internet access without falling foul of regulation," said a BT spokesman.

"Users will connect to a landing page and from there can surf and choose an ISP if they want to have email or other services," he added.

Shudder from industry

Head of BT Retail Pierre Danon said the cost of the service would be only slightly less than existing broadband charges.

"The real importance of it is that it is a change of paradigm and a change in the way we engage with our customers," he said.

It will accelerate broadband access that will be good for us in terms of content

Alison Ritchie, BTopenworld
The idea has "sent a shudder down the ISP industry" according to one source who did not want to be named.

"It is a fundamental shift and looks like BT is saying that there is no need for ISPs anymore," he said.

BT is confident that the new model for access will bring in around a million extra customers to broadband.

The key will lie in separating access and content but it does not see this as eliminating the need for an ISP.

"It is not going to threaten ISPs businesses as there is a huge market for value-added services," said a BT spokesman.

Head of BTopenworld Alison Ritchie welcomed the plan.

"We are very supportive. It will accelerate broadband access that will be good for us in terms of content," she said.

BT shifts gears

BT's own plans for content will shift towards a media-enabled network.

Executive officer of BT Ben Verwaayen
Verwaayen: Broadband at heart of BT
New chief executive Ben Verwaayen did not rule out the possibility of using its newly gained broadcast license to offer TV services via ADSL.

"Maybe in five years time. We don't have the capacity in our network today but maybe in five years," he said.

For the time being though the telco will concentrate on running video and multimedia applications to the PC.

As part of its three-year growth plan the telecommunications giant has re-pledged its commitment to high-speed net services claiming broadband was "at the heart of BT".

To emphasis this it announced that a further 100 telephone exchanges would be ADSL-enabled by the end of May with the possibility of 500 more in coming months.

The extra 100 exchanges would bump up UK ADSL coverage to 66% of the population.

The demand for ADSL has soared since BT announced its new cut-price self-install product and BT Wholesale is now receiving 10,000 orders each week.

See also:

08 Apr 02 | Business
BT 'puts customer first'
07 Apr 02 | Business
BT to change direction
31 Mar 02 | Sci/Tech
Struggle to get broadband
27 Mar 02 | Business
BT job axe falls on call centres
Internet links:

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

Links to more Sci/Tech stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sci/Tech stories