BT Denies Copper ADSL Switch Off Will Be ‘Catastrophic’ For Businesses

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BT says businesses have had plenty of time to upgrade to faster services

BT has rejected claims that some businesses face “catastrophic consequences” when it shuts down some of its older copper broadband services, claiming it has given firms plenty of notice about the closure and that they still have plenty of time to upgrade to newer, faster services.

The telecom giant plans to close its 8Mbps ADSL and SDSL services, known as 20th century networks (20CN) at the end of March in areas where 21st century networks (21CN) such as 16Mbps ADSL and 76Mbps fibre to the cabinet services are available. However BT has promised to support older services in area not covered by the 21CN until the end of September.

Communications service provider Timico started the rumpus with a claim that ten percent of businesses still use 20CN services and a warning that those who do not make the switchover in time will see wholesale prices increase by £4 and could be left without an Internet connection.

BT ADSL services

BT tower“This switch-off will have catastrophic consequences for businesses who are unprepared for the migration to 21CN,” said Tony Tugulu, director of managed metworks at Timico. “In a worst case scenario businesses could see their services cut off completely, leaving them with no internet connection and the potential for expensive reconnection charges.”

However BT says the warnings should not come as a surprise, given that it first announced its intention to close its 20CN services, IPStream and Datastream, in 2008.

“Since then, we have been encouraging industry to migrate their business and consumer customers onto our next generation broadband network which delivers much faster speeds via advanced copper and fibre,” a spokesperson told TechWeekEurope. “Most communications providers have already completed or are nearing the end of migrating their customers across to the next generation network. There is still plenty of time for end customers to migrate as we will continue to maintain the legacy broadband network until the end of September 2014. “

Last week, the former state monopoly reported that strong demand for its fibre broadband services had resulted in a record number of users added to the Openreach fibre network.

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