BT has finally launched its high-speed internet access service for UK consumers, although it will initially be available to only one third of UK homes.
BTopenworld's ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) service will offer consumers high-speed, 'always on' access to the internet, but "unprecedented demand" means customers face a delay before they can actually subscribe.
The consumer service, which is available to PC users, is priced at £39.99 per month with a £150 installation fee. Users will get access speeds of up to 500Kbps downstream and 250Kbps upstream.
But the internet service provider (ISP) warned last month that due to the demand, customers could face a wait of up to three months before installation is completed. It will today contact the "first of the 100,000 or so people who have expressed an interest in having the service".
BT had said previously that 35 per cent of the UK could be served by local ADSL-enabled BT telephone exchanges, and aims to increase that figure to 50 per cent by the middle of next year and 70 per cent by the end of 2002.
Last week, ISP Freeserve announced that it will launch its consumer ADSL service on 4 September, while Claranet, Thus and Zen Internet have also announced plans to launch similar services over the next two weeks.
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