ISPs given incentive to increase end-user ADSL speeds
BT Wholesale initiated a programme quietly at the end of January 2005 which would appear to be behind the rash of service providers offering regrades to 1Mbps and 2Mbps. Full details can be found in the BT Electronic Price List here.
An ISP can join the programme any time between 28th January and 31st May 2005, with the regrades occurring from 28th February 2005 until 31st August 2005. The regrades are done, such that all IPStream connections on a specified domain will be regraded to the maximum speed possible for the line, and for every line successfully regraded a fee of £5 (exc VAT) will be charged to the ISP.
Importantly for users on the old BT IPStream USB 500 service whereby BT Wholesale supplied a USB modem, and who would as a result be regraded onto BT IPStream Home 1000 or Home 2000 the ADSL USB modem will be handed over to the end-user. This means there is a simple regrade path for those on the old engineer assisted set-up products, though people should note that after the regrade BT Wholesale will no longer repair or replace the modem. The regrades apply equally to the BT IPStream Office range as well.
Where a speed regrade is done outside of this programme, e.g. regrades at the request of a single end user, then the standard regrade fee of £11 (exc VAT) will apply.