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Call for BT Wholesale to review the cost of ADSL activations
Wednesday 12 May 2004 00:15:00 by Andrew Ferguson

PlusNet is one of the ISP's in the wave of new low-cost ADSL products, e.g. their Broadband Home Lite at just £14.99 (inc VAT). The sub £20 ADSL market segment is growing fast in product choice, and appears to be generating a lot of interest from the low-usage dialup market.

PlusNet are concerned that the high cost of ADSL activation at £58.75 (inc VAT) is disproportionate to the monthly service fees now. They are calling for the fee to be removed, or at least drastically reduced. BT Wholesale in the past has done special half-price activations for three month periods, but never anything as low as PlusNet are asking for. If there are enough service providers calling for the change, this will put pressure on BT and Ofcom to review the situation, and particularly for Ofcom to review BT's costings in this area.

PlusNet have also indicated that the new capacity based charging for the BT Central products used by service providers was confirmed last week, which should mean low prices for users with modest bandwidth requirements. The question of what the heavier bandwidth users will see is a bit unknown, the 1GB and 2GB packages will not last families long, especially if they have multiple PC's and people collectively use the connection a lot. Hopefully ISP's will ensure that upgrade paths to affordable unmetered or less restrictive bandwidth limits will be easily available.

One observation from forum postings, is that many new users for these low cost products, have little feeling for what 1GB (GigaByte) of data constitutes. We have listed a few rough guideline figures in our Q&A section here. We hope that service providers will very soon provide the tools to their end-users to allow them to monitor their usage levels, and thus avoid unwelcome surprise bills.

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