A Solution for Midband


Midband is the BT name coined for the platform which is intending to deliver new data services with access rates in the range 200 kbit/s to approximately 8 Mbit/s over existing copper infrastructure. The technology which is perceived to make this possible is ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) which is one of a number of new and exciting advanced line coding techniques which offer the tantalising prospect of being able to provide broadband bandwidths over existing metallic access networks. ADSL is seen as offering cost-effective high-speed network access where none has existed previously, and as such offers a significant opportunity for those operators with an installed copper access network to further exploit that asset. Other alternatives for providing high-speed access are less likely to be successful as they rely on replacing a significant portion of the current copper access network with fibre which is currently seen as prohibitively expensive. Therefore, the view often offered from many analysts is that this technology will be made to work because it offers the only viable way forward. Certainly the amount of effort, the trials, the standards and the new variants on this technology suggest this to be the case, but this also suggests that the technology is still maturing and that it would be unwise at this stage to bet on the final solution. There has already been much written on this subject and it would be easy to be swayed into believing that all the problems have been solved and that it is simply a matter of now rolling out this technology. This paper attempts to show that, while ADSL access is the most promising proposition, there is still a significant amount of work to be done in order to make the case for mass deployment within the UK.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1

    Foster K T et al: ‘Realising the potential of access networks using DSL’, BT Technol J, 16, No4, pp 34–47 (October 1998).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Quayle J A et al: ‘Achieving global consensus on the strategic broadband access network – the Full Service Access Network initiative’, BT Technol J, 16, No4, pp 58–70 (October 1998).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Ovum Report: ‘DSL – The Route to Broadband’, (November 1997).

  4. 4

    BT Annual Report and Accounts, (1997/98).

  5. 5

    ADSL Forum 98-XXX: ‘Core network architectures for ADSL access systems’, working text (March 1998).

  6. 6

    Bell P I and Trigger J P: ‘Access network life cycle costs’, BT Technol J, 16, No4, pp 165–174 (October 1998).

    Google Scholar 

Download references


About this article

Cite this article

Dickie, A.J., Mackenzie, J.H. A Solution for Midband. BT Technology Journal 16, 48–57 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009683410840

Download citation


  • Access Network
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Data Service
  • Code Technique
  • Significant Opportunity