UK telco BT today announced that 500 exchanges around the country would be receiving upgrades to give customers living in those areas access to high speed SDSL. SDSL is a DSL variant, offering high download and upload speeds.
Bruce Stanford, Director of BT Whole sale, today said the move represented BT's continued commitment to broadband. "The wider geographic availability of our wholesale SDSL products will allow more service providers to meet the needs of the growing proportion of smaller businesses, remote office and teleworkers that require business-class broadband services, as well as generating new revenue streams from the introduction of value-added services."
Stanford said that by the end of this financial year 300 exchanges will be able to offer SDSL service, and over four times as many in twelve months time. Once completed, BT will have 1300 exchanges with SDSL services and 2/3 of businesses in the UK will be within reach.
BT have received flack for their slow progress and anti-competitive prices in the broadband department; it emerged last year that the company was charging wholesale resellers of ADSL (like Wanadoo) more than BT customers. OFTEL, the UK telecoms regulator, has raised the possibility of a BT split up, but is attempting to increase competition in other ways. In other BT news, the company recently announced plans to launch a service similar to PayPal, offering online merchants transaction services. The service will formalise the company's efforts in the area, which already amount to 20m transactions per year.