BT tests fast internet satellite service
By Steve Barrett, London, Revolution UK Online, April 15, 2002
Telecoms giant BT is to trial a fast internet satellite product that could hook up areas currently out of reach of DSL broadband and cable services.
The product, which will be available from late-May for six months, will be marketed to service providers by BT Wholesale, with the proviso that these companies are prepared to make it available in non ADSL-enabled areas.
The service will initially be aimed at small businesses and high-use residential customers, but if it is successful, it could be rolled out to the rest of the UK â€“ including rural areas.
The service downloads at speeds of up to 256Kb per second and offers always-on delivery of emails and selected web pages. Higher speed downloads â€“ up to 4Mb per second â€“ will be available on a pay-per-use basis, billed through the service providers. The return path is via a conventional phone line.
According to BT Wholesale, the trial wholesale price is likely to be similar to its existing price for consumer broadband connections of Â£14.75 a month. Connection, including equipment and installation of the dish, is expected to be â€œless than Â£400â€.
BTâ€™s wholesale price was cut from Â£25 at the start of April, since when orders have run at more than 10,000 a week, principally for the self-install product.
BT Retail is set to unveil its â€œno-frillsâ€ connection-only broadband product next week, at roughly Â£2-3 less than the existing Â£29.99 a month tariff.