Broadband News

BT Retail releases Max upgrade timetable for its customers

BT Retail has launched its offerings that exploit the extra speeds offered by the BT Wholesale Max products. Customers will be upgraded according to the current Option they take from BT Broadband, with Option 4 users upgrades starting today. Existing BT customers still need to elect to take the regrade by visiting For the full press release visit the website, details of the current pricing for new or migrating customers can be found at

BT Retail has issued a timetable for when the regrades for customers on its various Broadband Options will start to happen. People should note that with the large number of customers BT Retail has that it will take some time for the regrades to happen if lots of people request them. It should also be emphasised that BT Retail is only upgrading customers who request the up to 8Mbps upgrade.

Product Option

Commencement of optional regrades

Option 1 Spring 2006
Option 2 Spring 2006
Option 3 11th April 2006
Option 4 4th April 2006

These dates also apply to people ordering a BT Broadband for the first time. Where an existing customer elects to regrade onto the up to 8Mbps Max service, BT Retail requires people to start a new 12 month minimum contract. There are a couple of exceptions, which are covered in the BT press release.

BT Retail as well as announcing the timetable for the Max regrades is also running a special offer to people migrating to the ISP from another provider. BT Option 1 is available for £11.99 per month over the first three months, and then reverting to the normal £17.99 per month. The £11.99 offer also includes Broadband Talk, which offers unlimited Evening and Weekend calls over the BT Voice over IP service. A lower priced £9.99 offer is on the BT website for migrating customers, that do not take the Broadband Talk option. Details of the BT Broadband product range and prices that apply to new customers are shown below:


Offer Price

Standard Price

Usage allowance

Current maximum line speed

Option 1 £14.99 £17.99 2GB 2Mbps
Option 2 £20.99 £22.99 6GB 2Mbps
Option 3 £25.99 £26.99 20GB 2Mbps
Option 4 £29.99 £29.99 40GB Up to 8Mbps

The usage allowance will only take effect one month after the activation of service, or inbound migration to a BT Broadband service.

BT Retail also has a set of questions and answers that are designed to answer a few common questions. One word of warning, this FAQ talks about upgrading to a hub, this does not mean an old fashioned Ethernet network hub, but is using the term to describe what most people refer to as an ADSL modem/router.

For those people who currently have a USB ADSL modem, while the units will work with the up to 8Mbps products, for those who are getting line speeds of 5Mbps or faster they may find that the performance will be improved if they upgrade to a unit that connects to their computer via Ethernet or wireless technology. If you do upgrade now, but don't want the extra outlay for a new ADSL modem, then do not panic, the old ADSL hardware will still work, and you can upgrade at your leisure. The problem is not so much the age of the device, but more the interface to the computer, the original USB 1.1 specification supports only 12Mbps between the computer and peripherals, and once you add a couple of other USB devices the bus may become congested. A similar bottleneck may now exist if you are using older 802.11b wireless networking hardware, since this will run at a maximum of around 5Mbps in a single direction.


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