The deadline has passed for any new orders on the BT Wholesale half-price activation offer that has run for the last 3 months. Orders in the pipeline for April will still be honoured though. There has almost being a panic from some people about what new offers may appear, will they be better or won't there be any?
In answer to that, well Service Providers have started to release new offers. Legend Internet are extending the offer of free activation until the end of April 2003. But we are now seeing the big boys getting in on the act.
BT Retail with its BT Broadband and BT Openworld Home 500 Plug & Go ranges are extending their offers. In the case of BT Openworld the offer of free activation has been introduced as a permanent measure, the modem pack will cost £50 until 30th June 2003. BT Broadband are also doing free line activation but from 1st April to 30th June 2003, and again the modem pack will be priced at £50. Interestingly, if you order the product online, the order will be subject to a further £10 saving. We have checked, and the free line activation is fortunately not tied into buying either of the modem packs. For full details of these offers and the various terms and conditions check their websites.
It should be pointed out, that the offers from BT Broadband and BT Openworld are independent of BT Wholesale. They still pay the standard activation fee of £50, but they are writting this cost off over the period of the contracts basically. The ability of BT based service providers to do this sort of offer is likely to raise questions from providers like Freeserve who have previously questioned Oftel on matters like this. The question of whether this is anti-competitive behaviour will really resolve around what the majority of other service providers do.
One thing to remember is that basic PCI and USB modems are available for well under £50, and even basic ADSL routers can now be found for £20 (AR11 from www.ebuyer.co.uk). So please do look at all your options, and cost the total package price before jumping at the first headline grabbing offer.
Update: AOL are continuing to offer free activation and charge just £25 for the modem to their existing dialup customers.
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