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Souped-up broadband racing down the highway.

Byline: By Howard Walker

Five major towns and cities across the North-East have been promised access to faster, high-capacity internet services by November.

BT has revealed its roll-out timetable, which will double the availability of symmetric broadband products (SDSL) across the UK.

This will bring the technology to Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Sunderland and Durham in four months' time.

Leading players in the sector believe SDSL will signify an increase in internet and e-commerce opportunities for more than 10,000 businesses across the region.

Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL) is the latest in broadband technology and enables high-speed digital information with equal bandwidth to travel in both directions.

As such, it is said to offer big increases in functionality in comparison to a standard ADSL broadband service.

The service will now cover the five major commercial city centres in the region partly as a result of a campaign by Teesside-based technology company Onyx Internet, which reported a genuine demand for SDSL in the area. The company is confident it will prove popular amongst North-East businesses.

Neil Stephenson, sales and marketing director for Onyx Internet, said: "Businesses have been keen to know when they will have access to SDSL and this news will allow them to plan ahead with confidence.

"This will open up opportunities for broadband which are vital if the region is to remain competitive in the national and global marketplace.

"It significantly strengthens the portfolio of business-class broadband products that Onyx can now offer to all our customers."

He added: "Demand is expected to be strong amongst businesses of varying sizes and activity, all gaining real competitive advantage from using this new broadband technology."

Predicted benefits of SDSL services for businesses include improved efficiency, internal communication and customer relations.

The service can also be used for videoconferencing, hosting data, streaming media or any application that requires two-way traffic of information.

Companies can also make substantial savings by replacing an expensive leased line with SDSL.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 30, 2004
Words:325
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