With millions of people still using traditional dial-up modems to connect to the Internet, it is no surprise to see providers tailoring products to try and attract this sort of customer. Freedom2Surf has released a product aimed at this market. It is Connect Start and the product carries an inclusive 0.5 GigaByte (500MB) monthly allowance.
The pricing varies according to whether you choose a monthly or annual contract. The yearly contract works out to £15.99 a month, but has free activation, whereas the monthly contract carries an activation charge of £49.99 and a monthly fee of £12.99. The website states that additional usage can be purchased at £1.50 per GB, though if you are finding yourself regularly exceeding the minimum level you may want to consider the other products like Connect Home at £19.99 with 10GB allowance, or the uncapped Connect Plus at £24.99.
As is common with many providers they will connect your line at the fastest speed available in your area, which means it is subject to the services offered by your exchange and the length/quality of your telephone line. The maximum speeds offered are 8Mbps downstream, and 768kbps for the upstream, it is best to contact the service provider to find out which speeds are available at your exchange. Currently the vast majority of exchanges have a 2Mbps maximum speed, but with the roll-out of the BT Wholesale Max products expected in April 2006 this should rise to 8Mbps for the majority. Freedom2Surf are currently listing that if you are connected at up to 2Mbps now, and your exchange is upgraded to offer 8Mbps, they will upgrade your line for a one off fee of £17.62.
While 500MB of allowance seems very little to those who have embraced the full power of broadband, if you are someone who just switches their computer on every other day for an hour and pays their bills, does their online banking and the odd online order, then 500MB may well prove more than enough. As a rough guide simple web browsing consumes around 10MB per hour, but if you start watching video, listening to online radio or playing online games this usage can rise very quickly.
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