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Alternatives to the obsolete Internet connection technologies offered by BT

This document serves as a summary of some of the main Internet access technologies available today. Here we look at some of the problems with these technologies and what they offer. Any corrections or feedback to: BTHateWorld


Cable Modems

Probably the future for most users in the UK if BT donít install their own fibre network. Speeds would be expected to rise rapidly towards around 50-100Mbit over the next 5-10 years. Check out some of the cable providers (links on our home page). NTL is the only provider in our local area, but their services are not available to everyone yet. I've yet to see an NTL cable modem, but I'm sure the results will be favorable to BT ADSL.


Contention ratio: at local junction boxes there is only finite bandwidth available to connect to the backbone capacity


View the page on ADSL technologies




Integrated Services Digital Network. Higher bandwidth versions of this service do offer reasonable data rates, but only over expensive leased lines. In the UK these lines are priced well out of the reach of the ordinary consumer so that BT can make higher margins in one of the areas of BT's business that has not yet been hit much by the recent decline in their excessive profits. This is why ADSL has been delayed so often by BT and this is also the reason that BT ADSL is slower than it could otherwise be.



Data transmission over electricity network

Supposed to be introduced in some areas. In practice, this technology has not worked as well as has been expected.




400kbit/sec upwards. Upstream link is modem. In near future Ka band 64Mbit/sec downstream 2Mbit/sec upstream services are expected to appear. Future versions may also have an upstream link to the satellite.




Apparently, Atlantic Telecom offer services as fast as 2Mbit over radio and 4th generation cellular technology is heading towards 20Mbit (not for a few years yet though). It is unbelievable to think that radio access developments will outpace those for land lines, but the fact that the development of some of these services is announced before that of faster landlines in the UK is somewhat indicative of the fact that the principle of investment is foreign to BT.