First Direct, which recently transformed into e-bank firstdirect.com, has signed an agreement with BT to be the banking provider on its broadband internet ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line1) trial.
The ADSL service gives customers in the north London trial area access to the internet at speeds in excess of ten times that of the average Modem connection across the existing copper cables of the telephone line.
The high speed link, which features 'always on' and unmetered access, removes the final barriers to rapid, any time internet banking. (Unmetered access means that customers will have unlimited access to the Internet for a set monthly subscription.)
Head of e-futures for First Direct, Jonathan Etheridge, said: “To be able to access the internet at high speeds without having to worry that the meter is running is an extremely significant advance for our customers. We predict that 'always on' internet will radically change the way in which the internet is used and perceived.”
Prior to launching the service, First Direct research staff and scientists at BT's Adastral Park laboratory worked together to test the banking applications over the state of the art ADSL network.
The ADSL service will be available to all firstdirect.com customers living in the trial area when the e-bank goes live in June. In the meantime, First Direct customers who currently use the bank’s existing on-line banking service will also benefit from ADSL speeds when accessing their accounts on-line.