The ISP Freedom2Surf has joined the ranks of ISPs offering metered packages for ADSL in the UK. They are launching two products Freedom2Surf Connect @ £17.99 (inc VAT) per month and Freedom2Surf FamilyConnect @ £19.99 (inc VAT) per month. The products come with 1GB and 2GB per month traffic allowance allowances respectively, with extra traffic costing £2.99 per GB (GigaByte).
While it appears to be just another ISP starting to meter its connections, they have implemented something different by allowing the connections to run unmetered between the hours of 1am and 6am every day. Additionally the service includes 20 email addresses and 50MB of webspace. Perhaps most crucially for attracting people not sure about broadband the contract is just a one month minimum. The activation fee which includes an ADSL modem is £79.99.
Much has been said about the change in market that the new metered ADSL packages represent, the real test is whether the services will attract a large enough customer base to make them worthwhile. If ISPs do not get the pricing and traffic allowances right there is a distinct chance that lots of current low bandwidth users will abandon the more costly unmetered packages. This raises the possibility of price rises for unmetered services in the future. Certainly the US cable/DSL market bottomed out some while ago, and price rises are creeping in either via headline price changes, or extra hidden charges on services.
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