BT Broadband product launchesBT have just launched their Direct/No Frills service at the none too ground breaking price of £27/month. Activation is to cost £60 and the optional hardware starter pack (i.e. modem and filters) is £80. The service is due to launch in Autumn 2002. Technically it will be a single dynamic IP service, with user traffic emerging onto the internet via BTnet.
The full press release is here.
I suspect ISP's may have some comments about it, in particular the naming, but in terms of competing with other ISP products it wont win on price alone. Though it may win through cross promotion via BT Retail, e.g. leaflets with phone bill etc
The service appears to be paid by direct debit or monthly payment plan with the option to spread the activation fee over a period with the direct debit - interestingly it looks like this may all be done via the normal BT phone bill this is covered in a seperate press release here, which aims to provide a billing shop for broadband PC hardware, voice calls and broadband internet access.
For users, one can see this service appealling to the group of internet users who bounce around dialup ISP's looking for the best deal and already have email accounts like Hotmail. Plus the single billing point (which no other ISP can offer) will appeal to broad range of the population. Will this kill off traditional ISP's - well it will squeeze those that are chasing the pure consumer market. The hobby market looks set to remain the domain of the ISP's that exist now, whether that market is large enough to sustain all the ISP's will be seen. It wouldnt be surprising if the ISP hardest hit will be BT's own ISP, BTopenworld, but they are trying to position themselves squarely in the value added market now.
Thanks to Tim Richardson from The Register for letting us know this morning was the time to check for BT press releases.