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Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Telewest offers super-fast broadband
Cables, Eyewire
Broadband just got very very fast
UK cable operator Telewest has stepped up the battle for broadband this week, with the trial of a super-fast service.

It intends to offer its blueyonder service at double the speed of current broadband offerings and 20 times faster than traditional dial-up services.

Initially, the service will be tested among 1,500 householders in Scotland with the aim of rolling it out nationwide by mid-summer.

The price is as yet undecided.

Philip Jansen, Telewest
Jansen: Leaving other broadband players behind
"We intend to ask the triallists how much they are willing to pay," said a spokesperson for Telewest.

"NTL's one megabit service is 49 a month and we would like to see ours quite a bit lower to be aimed at a mainstream consumer audience."

According to Telewest's Managing Director Philip Jansen the service will set another benchmark for internet services in the UK.

"The trial will help us deliver a service that leaves ADSL providers dead in their copper tracks," he said.

How fast is fast?

But Ovum analyst Tim Johnson is sceptical that people will actually get the blueyonder service at the optimum one megabit speed.

"If you get a large number of users then the speed will drop and there will be bottlenecks higher up in the network," he said.

"Before I got the service I would ask Telewest if I could get one megabit for downloading streaming media - say from the BBC site - and I have a feeling Telewest couldn't guarantee that. You might be better off with just half a megabit."

Around half a million UK homes and businesses currently have a broadband connection.

Cable operators Telewest and NTL have around 280,000 customers, with ADSL providers trailing with 190,000 connections.

See also:

19 Apr 02 | Sci/Tech
Broadband comes to the High Street
17 Apr 02 | Sci/Tech
Rural residents demand broadband
08 Apr 02 | Sci/Tech
BT offers new way to connect to net
13 Apr 02 | Sci/Tech
Britons dash for broadband
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