British Telecom may once have held a virtual monopoly on the country's broadband connections but that hasn't stopped its speeds from lagging greatly behind that of its rivals. Now they'll lag a little less so...
The company has announced at long last it will be upgrading its flagship DSL offering to a more spritely 20Mbit and also boosting upload speeds by an unspecified amount. The roll out will begin during the summer and while BT doesn't say which areas will get it first (London, London, London) availability will be extended to 55 per cent of exchanges by 2010. Make sure to grab that iPlate.
Happily BT says it won't be looking to charge customers more for the speed boost though it has been mooting 24Mbit ADSL2+ since May 2008 so this seems fair compensation. Furthermore, competitors such as Be first began offering 24Mbit broadband in September 2005. The Virgin 50Mbit cable service has also been available for more than six months.
Ho, and indeed, hum.
In related news BT has been accused of throttling BBC iPlayer amid concerns over its bandwidth usage. Reports say customers with 8Mbit lines see speed cuts to under 1Mbit with the company admitting it managed performance "in order to optimise the experience for all customers".
The throttling affects BT's 'Option 1' broadband deal and cuts streaming video to this pitiful speed from 17:00 to midnight. And no, it's not based on usage it is simply applied across the board. Thankfully iPlayer has 500kbps and 800kbps streaming options to augment the higher quality 1.5Mbit and 720p HD 3.2Mbit services. So suck on that BT...
Update: Caveat time chaps and chapettes: to get the new 20Mbit speed users will have to new 12 month broadband contracts. There's always a catch.