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BT Retail's 'No Frills' Service Appears
Thursday 06 June 2002 12:37:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The website appears to be up and available to order now. This is the no frills service, i.e. no e-mail, no newsgroups service from BT for the price of £27 (inc VAT)per month if you pay by direct debit or payment plan, otherwise £28.

The service has the normal sort of startup costs with a £60 activation fee, the optional USB modem pack at £80 which includes 2 micro-filters and additional micro-filters are available for £6 each ( all pricing includes VAT ).

The service will suit users who want a simple end to end service and are happy using the various free web mail services that you can get. Technically the service provides a single dynamic IP address with a portal that allows you to sign up for additional services from various providers.

The killer part for a lot of people will be the fact that now you can have ADSL billed onto your phone bill, but only via this provider. Whilst some people will like this, a lot of the other ISP's arent going to like this.

Some will be wondering where the fanfare from BT is - well it appears they are starting small at present, and waiting until September for the big launch by which time they should have got upto speed with the issues of supporting broadband users.

If this no frills pricing of £27/28 a month had been launched six or seven months ago it would have been something new - in its current state, there is very little exciting about the product and a lot of users will be paying more for a service they could obtain from other ISP's, for less. Figures suggest that add-ons to the product cost £3/month for email as an example. This means that BT Retail must excel at the support/quality of service they provide. That said, because the service is provided by BT, a lot of people will perceive the service to be good, and the quality of access better than other ISP's. Time will tell, however I think we are seeing another mass market service with low level mass market standards.


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