Broadband prices to fall in early 2003

BT Wholesale will cut the installation cost of upgrading to broadband for three months, allowing ISPs to offer more competitively priced products to customers

The start-up cost of both consumer and business ADSL packages should fall in the first three months of next year.

BT Wholesale announced on Thursday that it plans to halve the installation cost of several of its broadband products in early 2003. For the period between 10 January and 31 March, the connection charge for BT IPStream Home and BT IPStream Office -- both self-installation products -- will be cut from £50 to £25.

The connection charge for business ADSL products in the BT IPStream S range -- which are installed by a BT engineer -- will also be halved, from £260 to £130.

These products are resold by over 100 ISPs, and the early indications are that the savings will be passed on to customers.

BT said the move is an attempt to help ISPs stimulate the UK broadband market, which has already boomed over the last 12 months.

"Recent advertising campaigns from BT and its service providers have really boosted awareness and demand, and with these special offers resellers will have the opportunity to start the new year with some even more attractive prices," said Bruce Stanford, director of wholesale products at BT, in a statement.

Stanford added that the wholesale price cuts made by BT early this year played a major role in boosting Britain's broadband market.

The decision to halve the connection charges in these ADSL products was welcomed by Zen Internet, which resells BT Wholesale's range of broadband services.

"I think it is an excellent move by BT Wholesale," said Ian Buckley, marketing manager at Zen Internet. "We are really starting to see the market move forward especially with a noticeable increase in public awareness following a number of marketing campaigns by ISPs -- including our own -- as well as the Wholesale marketing programme."

"We will certainly be passing the discounts onto our customers and expect January to be a great month for sales especially with the new exchanges that are being ADSL-enabled -- eight yesterday and another seven scheduled for January -- and the new PCs that people will no doubt be purchasing over Christmas," Buckley added.

Bulldog Communications, a competitor of BT Wholesale, announced details of a new ADSL service aimed at home users in central London on Friday. The Primetime 2000 service costs £39.99 a month with a connection fee of £99, or £49 if they sign up before the end of January 2003.

Primetime 2000 provides connections of 2Mbps downstream and 400Kbps upstream between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. on weeknights, and all weekend, reverting to 512Kbps at other times. It will be targeted at gamers and users who download large amounts of data from the Internet.

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