BT Doubles Bandwidth for Business Customers; Blair Promises Broadband UK 2008

BT has announced today that it will be doubling the speed of its customers’ Business Broadband Network connections, at no extra cost. Customers on the 512k and 1 meg pipes will be upgraded to Network 1000 and 2000 automatically.

Customers on the 2 meg service won’t be getting ablistering 4 meg however – instead they’ll see a UK£30 (€44) reduction in their monthly line rental.

Duncan Ingram, BT Retail’s managing director of Broadband and Internet Services commented: “High bandwidth is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for businesses. Companies now need to have more than one computer attached to a network connection and that’s exactly what our Network products are designed for. Doubling bandwidth, whilst not increasing price, is part of our continuing drive to give our business customers the tools they need to really harness broadband, giving them a clear advantage over competitors and enabling them to punch well above their weight. Not only does it make communication easier, but also enables small businesses to have access to the same applications and services that have traditionally only been open to much larger enterprises.”

Speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, the UK PM Tony Blair promised a broadband Britain by 2008, if the country voted Labour: “Our country and its people prospering in the knowledge economy. Increasing by £1bn the investment in science, boosting support to small businesses and ending the digital divide by bringing broadband technology to every home in Britain that wants it by 2008.”

Broadband is part of a package of ten items that Blair promises as part of a Labour third term. Included amongst them are ID cards and the electronic registration of everyone who passes the UK’s borders.

Given that it’s not actually the UK government who will be doing the connecting, it’s a bit of a cheeky promise.

Since BT have already estimated that 99.6% of households will be broadband accessible by July 2005, is Tony saying that voting Labour will delay the whole process by three years?

BT double bandwidth

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?