24Mbps broadband arrives in the UK

The launch of the UK's first 24Mbps broadband service by Be could see the start of a price war

Be launched the first 24Mbps broadband service in the UK on Monday, throwing down the price gauntlet to other ISPs such as UK Online, which is planning to roll out its own 24Mbps service in October.

The Be 24Mbps service, first announced at the start of September, will initially only be available in London and is priced at £24 per month, which is £5.99 less than UK Online's current 8Mbps service.

UK Online was not willing to comment on whether it would be competing in terms of price, with a spokesmansaying only that its coming 24Mbps service would be "under £30" and they would be vying "in terms of quality with all [its] competitors."

"Experience is something that shouldn't be discounted — we've been pushing LLU technology to the limit for a year now, so we are in a good position to compete with other ISPs," the UK Online spokesperson added.

UK Online has no firm date set for rolling out its 24Mbps service, but says it is planning for an October release.

Be has included two VoIP ports on its Be Box modem, which could enable it to compete in the growing VoIP market, according to The Observer.