BT Wholesale provide the vast majority of the nations ADSL connections. Achieving some 60,000 new connections per week at one point, BT Wholesale sell ADSL connections to ISPs such as Pipex, PlusNet, Eclipse, Demon, BT Yahoo/Broadband and many, many others. A range of different pricing models exist (Standard, usage and capacity based charging), and this is part of the reason why we see such a vast range of different and very competitive offers from ISPs nowadays.
Many of the smaller ISPs offering ADSL (such as ADSL24 and UKFSN) do not purchase from BT directly due to the high cost of the BT Central product. Instead, these ISPs will purchase services from other wholesalers such as Entanet, Net Services and MurphX (who have sufficient buying power to buy from BT directly).
It is BT Wholesale that operate the network of 5500 ADSL enabled exchanges and 800-odd SDSL enabled exchanges. Until April 2006 BT Wholesale only offered fixed-rate ADSL at up to 2Mbps and SDSL. Since then they have begun offering a highly rate-adaptive product called IPStream Max (commonly known as ADSL Max), which operates at up to 8Mpbs downstream. 2008 will see the launch of wBC (Wholesale Broadband Connect) and wBMC (Wholesale Broadband Managed Connect), both of which offer up to 24Mbps via ADSL2+.
Providers using BT Wholesale to provide broadband connections:
- BT Retail group (BT Yahoo!, BT Business Broadband, BT Total Broadband, PlusNet)
- TalkTalk - used in areas where TalkTalk do not have their own equipment
- Sky Broadband Connect - used in areas where Sky do not have their own equipment
- Tiscali - used in areas where Tiscali do not have their own equipment
- Orange - used in areas where Orange do not have their own equipment
- Virgin Media ADSL - used in areas where Virgin's cable network does not operate
- Entanet and their resellers, including ADSL24 and UKFSN
- Zen Internet
- Lots and lots of others...