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Who needs a leased line?

No more sharing as Demon Premier Express offers one-to-one ADSL contention

ISP Demon has unveiled a suite of ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) business products promising leased line performance at distinctly non-leased line prices.

The UK’s oldest ISP is offering contention ratios of between 5:1 and 1:1 through its three-strong Demon Premier Express range which launched today. This means you are sharing your connection with a maximum of five other users, ensuring high bandwidth is always available.

Demon can achieve these ratios by handing customer data connections from BT Wholesale's BT Datastream over to parent telco Thus which uses its own ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) network for forward transit into Demon's IP network. This allows Demon to precisely dictate levels of contention.

Top-of-the-range Demon Premier Express Gold, which will set your business back £600 per month, offers a 2Mbps (megabits per second) downstream connection and 256Kbps (kilobits per second) upstream and a 1:1 contention ratio.

In other words, businesses can, for the first time, expect an ADSL service to handle so-called "mission critical" applications without fear of downtime. And at prices half those quoted by some leased line providers.

So confident is Demon of the increased performance that Ian Hood, director of corporate communications, believes Demon will be offering business customers service level agreements within the next 12 months.

The downside? Well for starters, you need to be in the London area. Thus is promising to roll out the suite to other parts of the country, but it’s not publicly stating a timescale.
Also, while businesses can now get leased line contention levels, Demon can’t improve on the standard upstream speeds of 256Kbps, so companies which need to do a lot of their own web hosting might want to stick with a leased line.

And though many industry experts predict that as ADSL takeup accelerates, contention on the BT network will become an issue, this doesn’t appear to be happening yet. Until customers experience frequently dropped lines, it may difficult to make the case for more robust (and expensive) ADSL provision.

Boasting 22,000 customers, Demon claims to be the number one supplier of ADSL business connections and fourth overall.

Details of the three services launched today are listed below:

Demon Premier Express Plus
512kbps Downstream, 256kbps Upstream
£50 connection and £100/month subscription
5:1 contention ratio
NAT and NON-NAT options, with SMTP or POP3 mail delivery

Demon Premier Express Pro
2Mbps Downstream, 256kbps Upstream
£50 connection and £200/month subscription
5:1 contention ratio
NAT and NON-NAT options, with SMTP or POP3 mail delivery

Demon Premier Express Gold
2Mbps Downstream, 256kbps Upstream
£50 connection and £600/month subscription
1:1 contention ratio

NON-NAT based product, with SMTP or POP3 mail delivery
Four IP addresses

All three products are self-install.

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