NTL has this morning confirmed the weekends news of a 10Mbps cable broadband service. The NTL press release can be found at the NTL Media Centre.
The three key points are:
The new package seems to be all about consumers having the raw speed available, but choosing a package based on their level of usage. The current 3Mbps NTL customers can look forward to a 10Mbps by the end of this year, and an increased usage allowance rising from 30GB per month to 75GB per month, with no price rise. NTL aim to have the 10Mbps roll-out completed by the end of 2006, though by this time it will be competing with ADSL2+ services, and BT Wholesales own 8Mbps product which is due in late 2005/early 2006.
Apparently in advance of the 10Mbps roll-out, NTL cable broadband customers can look forward to a 'Turbo Button' option, allowing them to burst to much higher speeds than their current service, we would presume for a fee. BT Wholesale proposed something not dissimilar back in April 2004.
Looking to the future, and we see NTL talking of the DOCSIS 3.0 or ADSL2+ standards to offer their users speeds of 20Mbps to 50Mbps. Apparently a small trial is underway in Chorleywood providing 20Mbps to a school, small business and several homes.
The announcement of the 10Mbps upgrades a few months in advance of the actual product availability is possibly key, NTL may be less worried of the fledgling LLU market than it is of the launch of MaxDSL later in 2005. NTL and Telewest have always tried to stay one step ahead of BT, and this is just another step on that path. What would be very exciting is if NTL were to make the leap a long way ahead of BT and the LLU providers and have 50Mbps services available to their 1.9 million broadband customers.
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