First 21CN service set for launch this week

BT 21CN hardware rollout in Wales

Following several successful trials, including tests in Wales and Birmingham, the first resalable service running on BT's 21CN network will go live this week.

Wholesale broadband provider Entanet will start offering ADSL2+ services based on BT's Wholesale Broadband Connect. Services are expected to go live tomorrow.

The services will be available to in areas where the local exchange has been upgraded for 21CN, which is so far only a few dozen exchanges in the West Midlands following the Birmingham trial.

ADSL2+ services are theoretically able to offer speeds of up to 24Mb/sec, although as a report by our sister title PC PRO confirmed, most people experience considerably slower speeds than advertised.

That, of course, hasn't stopped ISPs selling it as "up to 24Mb/sec". ADSL24, one of Entanet's resellers, began marketing the 21CN-based lines in May, although the good news is that customers won't be paying any more for the higher speeds than they do currently.

BT Retail and BT-owned Plusnet are still only testing 21CN-based broadband services at this stage.

In a statement published on its website, PlusNet says it will "start testing ADSL2+ services internally later in the summer and then with customers this autumn."

"We plan on being cautious during the trial after our experiences with the DSL Max rollout two years ago and will carefully review the progress before migrating large numbers of customers across to ADSL2+," the ISP claims.

"The actual migration process involves an engineer visit and a rejumpering at the local exchange, not too unlike a switch to/from LLU, so we will start out with limited numbers of opted-in customers so we can see exactly how the new provisioning and fault processes work."

Barry Collins

Barry Collins is an experienced IT journalist who specialises in Windows, Mac, broadband and more. He's a former editor of PC Pro magazine, and has contributed to many national newspapers, magazines and websites in a career that has spanned over 20 years. You may have seen Barry as a tech pundit on television and radio, including BBC Newsnight, the Chris Evans Show and ITN News at Ten.