With the forthcoming release of the Max and Max Premium services by BT Wholesale, the issue of regrades between different products is back on the surface again. BT Wholesale has quietly re-jigged the pricing of regrading between its various BT IPStream products which are the most common ADSL products in the UK, with the new pricing coming into effect on 31st March 2006.
The year of 2005 saw BT Wholesale run a bulk regrade programme for service providers costing £5 per line, and it seems BT has now decided to make single regrades either free or just £5. The new prices should hopefully see an increase in providers offering free regrades. Of course some providers will still charge for regrades to cover their own costs, and others will possibly extend the minimum contract period.
We should point out a common story at present, and that is as soon as your exchange is enabled for the new Max services that all lines will move onto that product. This is incorrect, BT Wholesale has no program to move everyone onto a Max service, it is true that some service providers may automatically order regrades as soon as they can for a customers line. We would hope that when a provider automatically orders a Max regrade it will inform the customer, or even better give them a chance to opt out of the regrade.
The full BT IPStream regrade pricing structure can be found here. A short summary follows (prices are excluding VAT):
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