BT has called on US consultants to help it speed up and smoothen out the rollout of ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) services in the UK.
The telco said it will increase end user ADSL installations to more than three times the current rate by March 2001. So far 14,000 customers have been connected - a fraction of the total waiting list. BT's own ISP, BTOpenworld, alone has taken about 100,000 pre-orders.
BT's ADSL rollout has hit a number of problems since it began in the summer. BTOpenworld has had problems with incorrect modem drivers and IP address server problems, while transferring ISDN customers to ADSL remains problematic.
Steve Andrews, president of broadband at BT, said: "Volume demand began only in September and we have experienced some difficulties. Our challenge now is throughput, and we have used the best experience of other operators in the US and other countries to learn from the significant difficulties they have experienced."
US consultants, which have helped with the rollout of DSL and cable modem services in North America over the past 12 months, have been called in to help BT improve its installation capacity and reduce order handling time.
Ernie Gallo, senior director of Telcordia Technologies, one of the consultant firms brought in by BT, said: "The early implementation of consumer and small business broadband services, both cable and DSL-based, has been difficult for every operator that has tried it, regardless of country."
"Making good use of experience gained the hard way in other operators' broadband programmes will help BT speed through the inevitable pain barrier of early implementation," he added.
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