UK cable operator ntl is promising to upgrade its entire broadband subscriber base of almost 1.5 million people to a 10Mbps service by the end of 2006 – at no extra cost. The operator has also hinted at the possibility of a swift introduction of even faster 30Mbps or 50Mbps services, using cable’s DOCSIS 3.0 technology and ADSL2+ over copper, as it looks to take the fight to UK incumbent BT. The former monopoly operator is pinning its hopes on its much talked about 21st Century NGN network, but ntl hopes its pre-emptive strike will enable it to steal a march on BT before it can get its new systems in place. Commenting on the upgrade, ntl’s chief executive Simon Duffy said his company’s services are set to become ‘amongst the most innovative in the world and certainly well ahead of anything else in the UK’.
ntl initially plans to upgrade users to its 3Mbps service to the higher speed option, including increasing their monthly usage allowance from 30GB to 75GB. The first phase should be completed by the end of this year with slower 2Mbps and 1Mbps connections following suit in 2006.