Telco monolith BT and ISP Thus (better known for its Demon Internet service - below) have partnered up to trial a new 8Mbps broadband service that it hopes will be ready for homes in time for Christmas.
Beginning this month, will be a series of tests designed to work out line stability and speed availability across the length and breadth of the country.
In a statement Nigel Steven, Thus Product Director, said, “Most homes currently have a maximum broadband connection speed of 1Mbps, but once subscribers can connect to more than 2Mbps it opens up a whole new world of possibilities, allowing users to download and stream applications with rich media content. By playing an integral role in trialling 8Mbps ADSL we can ensure that we deliver a fully functional high-speed service ready for roll-out later in 2005.”
“Target customers for super-fast broadband will include residential users wanting the additional speed to allow multiple users within the home, and businesses that have outgrown 2Mbps" (Note: he misses out the hardcore downloaders among us, but I know what you are all thinking!)
Of course, the realities of the matter are also not quite so simple as Steven makes out, because high speed broadband connections are very sensitive to distance and the further away a property is from an exchange the more it degrades. So even by enabling every exchange in the country for 8Mbit, it doesn’t mean all homes will be able to get it. Still, we’re thinking: glass half full here!
Naturally, Thus and BT have not even begun to discuss pricing for 8Mbit yet, but it is likely – given the considerable fall in broadband prices that we have already seen, not just once, but twice in the last couple of months – that costs will be reasonable (think sub £30), depending on download caps.
Here’s to wishing for a Very Merry and Speedy Chrimbo...