Nildram has this evening announced they will be offering 1Mbps and 2Mbps ADSL services contended at 50:1 bringing the cost of these faster services down to levels suitable for more demanding residential users. They are joining Internet Central and Bulldog who have already announced similar services but unlike Bulldog whose services are restricted to the London area at this time, both Internet Central and Nildram will be present at about 70% of exchanges currently enabled for ADSL.
As one of the main ISP players in broadband, Nildram's move into this market is likely to be followed by streams of other ISPs keen to stay with the leading edge of competition.
Nildram's dslXtra1000 service is £39.99 incl. VAT, only £10 more expensive that their standard Home 500 service. The faster 2Mbps product is priced at a less modest £63.99 incl. VAT, significantly higher than the existing alternatives from other providers although value for money nonetheless.
The introduction of a 150GB monthly transfer limit is not as much surprising for the existence of such a limit, but for its sheer size. By putting a figure on it, Nildram are clearly signalling what it considers to be reasonable use and putting to rest any fears from streaming video users and others who may consume a significant amount of bandwidth in a short space of time. The limit is equivalent to using the existing 512kbps service at full capacity 24x7 over a one month period. This compares with NTL's 30GB monthly allowance.
There are a few catches with the service, although those taking it up are unlikely to be put off by them. The first is a 12 month contract which is not at this time clearly visible on the web site (although by the time you read this, it probably will be) and the second is that migration from an existing line is not possible yet. This is due to the fact that the wholesale service is not one provided by BT.
Easynet, Mailbox and some other ISPs have for some time now had faster SDSL services available in limited areas but we believe that Bulldog's introduction of its PrimeTime products has been one of the key factors in forcing other ISPs to look for alternatives to offer faster residential broadband services to remain competitive. The unavailability of mainstream LLU has obviously allowed BT to determine the course of broadband but with more options now available, the market forces are taking over and companies are increasingly able to expand their range. If BT Wholesale wants to maintain its current position as the largest wholesale provider of broadband, it is going to have to introduce Home1000 and Home2000 services in the next few weeks. More information on Nildram's services available here [seb]
Update 05/03/02: Freedom-2-Surf have joined the queue with pricing of £39.99 (1Mbps) and £59.99 (2Mbps) including VAT although noticeably they offer a shorter contract with a two month notice period. Activation charge is £70.49 incl. VAT. More information available here [seb]
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