18 - 24 April 2001

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ADSL cheaper than European average - DataStream CEO

By a staff reporter

Broadband Internet connectivity, such as ADSL, is cheaper in Malta than the average European price and on par with the cheapest rates in the United States according to DataStream CEO, Godfrey Vella.

An ADSL home connection costs an average of Lm20 per month in Malta. The average US cost is approximately $40, or Lm17.

Interviewed by The Business Times, Mr Vella estimates that Malta has more households than the European average connected to broadband technology. "For once, Maltaís size can actually work in its favour", he argued.

DataStream is a subsidiary of Maltacom plc and acts as the data services arm of the group. The company commenced operations last year and started offering a range of high-speed data services based on ADSL technology.

Mr Vella said that awareness of the potential that ADSL offers for both business and the home user is still low.

"It is a pity that there is so little local content available on the Internet that is suitable for broadband transmission. We wish to instigate more awareness, even on other uses for ADSL rather than just Internet browsing", Mr Vella insisted.

Asked to comment on the Maltacom groupís decision to start technical trials on digital interactive TV, Mr Vella said that provisioning of such a service from the pure technological aspect could be as early as next year. However, he insisted that the bottom line is not only technology.

"ADSL is suitable for video on demand services and similar applications however, Maltacom has to find a commercially viable business model. The group will proceed with commercial caution", Mr Vella said.
A full interview with Mr. Vella will appear next week

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt