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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August, 2003, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
BT offers faster broadband
Plugging in the broadband pipes
BT's trials will please big downloaders and gamers
The broadband user's dream of an even faster connection is about to get a step closer.

From October, high-speed net service providers like AOL and BT Openworld/Yahoo will be able to offer some home users a bumper one megabit per second ADSL connection.

It is part of a six-week trial from BT which could appeal to online gamers and big downloaders.

A decision on whether to launch a full 1mbps service will depend on feedback from the trials.

Speed demon

Most broadband users get high-speed net access to their homes at 512Kbit/s, about 10 times faster than dial-up access.

Cable firms such as NTL and Telewest already offer a 1mbps service but they reach only 40% of the UK population.

Businesses can get DSL speeds of 1Mbit/s and higher through service providers that resell BT's Datastream products.

However, demand from service providers who rent the lines from BT via its Wholesale division have persuaded it to give ever-hungry home users a bite at a product known and sold to businesses as the IPStream 1000 package.

Andrew Ferguson from ADSL Guide UK welcomed the trials but added a caveat.

"People need to be aware that due to line quality issues only around 60 to 70% of those with ADSL now will be able to attain the 1Mbit/s or 2Mbit/s connection," he said.


The trials will be attractive to those who are frustrated with their 512Kbit/s connections and should make downloading bulky files like music a lot speedier.

"This trial will be open to home users who want to upgrade their existing connections to give them much bigger download capacity for things like interactive gaming," a BT spokesperson told BBC News Online.

"It will also attract high-end users who have already used up their capacity of 500k or who find that restricting", he added.

The "wires only", self-install 1Mbit/s trial will also be alluring for the more demanding first-time broadband user.

Service providers have from 1 to 24 September to join the six-week trial and they can sign up as many interested customers as they want.

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