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Early next month BT Wholesale is rolling out the latest of its next generation services – Annex M. It will be available on all ADSL2+ broadband connections and Entanet partners will be able to order the new feature from mid August. Therefore we thought it was about time we discussed the three important questions:  What is Annex M, what benefits does it provide to end users and how can our reseller partners make money from it?

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

So, what is it and what does it do?

Annex M is a new feature that is only available on ADSL2+ connections. It enables the broadband user to increase the upload speed of their connection by trading some of their download speed. It also guarantees an upstream throughput of 85% of the upstream sync rate between the hours of 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding UK public and bank holidays.

Entanet has been significantly involved in the trials of Annex M and has been very impressed by the results experienced. So far we have seen that, in the majority of cases, the actual performance of Annex M has been well beyond BT’s (and Entanet’s) original expectations as shown in the graph below.

Graph sourced from BT Wholesale.

It should however be noted that the Annex M service is only really viable for lines with an attenuation of less than 45db. Longer lines are likely to only gain a minimal upstream benefit compared to the amount lost in terms of downstream speed.

What benefits does it provide?

This service should be of interest to anyone requiring an increased upload speed. Whilst this could easily benefit residential end users interested in uploading their photographs to social networking websites such as Facebook and Flickr, gaming online or using FTP services to manage their own websites, it will of course be of particular benefit to business customers.

The increased upload speed better supports the requirements of remote workers and regional offices who regularly need to send and receive large files, download and upload information to and from company VPNs and use systems dependent on appropriate two way speeds such as SaaS and VoIP. The guaranteed hours of throughput (8am-5pm Monday to Friday) will also make this of significant interest to business customers.

Most importantly – How do you make money from it?

Annex M is an additional feature that an end user can choose to add to their ADSL2+ connection for an additional monthly fee. Entanet’s reseller partners can earn ongoing commission from this monthly charge.

Additionally, the availability of Annex M can help resellers promote and sell additional services that this feature supports such as SaaS and VoIP, enabling them to profit from additional revenue streams and maintain control of their customer relationships by providing a complete connectivity solution.

So, Is Annex M a replacement for SDSL?

No. SDSL provides symmetrical upload and download speeds of up to 2Mbps, whilst Annex M provides the ability to trade some of the download speed in order to achieve an increased upload speed. Both services are also only available on selected exchanges. Whilst the two services have obvious similarities, BT is keen to point out that Annex M is not an SDSL replacement. Annex M will only be available on BT’s 21st Century Network ADSL2+ connections while SDSL will remain supported on BT’s 20th Century Network.

What’s the verdict so far?

As we await its official launch we only have the results of the trials on which to base our verdict – but from what we have seen so far, we think it’s a success. You can see for yourself from the graph above that it is performing well above original expectations.

Have your say!

Well, we think Annex M is a positive addition to BT’s 21st Century Network portfolio but what do you think? Have you taken part in the trials and have an experience you would like to share? Or are you awaiting availability? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below.

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