Pricing hinders ADSL uptake

Pricing hinders ADSL uptake
Richard Wilson High speed Internet access using ADSL – broadband over copper – telephone technology could be stifled in the UK by existing telecoms pricing regulations. That is the view of Dr Peter Radley, marketing director at Alcatel, an early pioneer of the ADSL technology. “There is regulatory inertia,” said Radley. “This is a technology that has appeared in the market very rapidly and they [the regulators] do not know how to manage it.” According to Radley, the technology exists and end market applications, like Internet access and the recent Microsoft/ Compaq ADSL.lite initiative, are emerging. But he believes that high speed services using ADSL will only proliferate if regulators, like Oftel in the UK, change the way they impose tariff controls on operators. “I am concerned about the situation in the UK,” added Radley. It seems there is little incentive for operators to introduce ADSL-based services, with the potential to offer low cost customer connections up to 8Mbit/s, if they must be highly priced to be consistent with existing 2Mbit/s leased line business services, which use more expensive connections. In the UK Alcatel is working with BT on ADSL trials. Cable operator CWC as well as Kingston Comms also plan future ADSL services. Last year there were just 20,000 ADSL lines operating in the US, the largest market.


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