BT cuts start-up cost of no-frills broadband

Customers who want a high-speed Internet connection without services such as Web space and email can save £30 by signing up in the next month

Customers who sign up for BT's "no-frills" broadband package in the next four weeks will save £30 in start-up costs.

The telco announced this week that any customer subscribing to BT Broadband before 20 September will only have to pay half the usual activation fee of £60. This move follows similar cut-price activation offers from other ISPs -- including BTopenworld, which earlier this year cut its broadband activation charge from £65 to nothing for a limited period.

"We're sure that this offer will provide customers with yet another good reason to choose BT Broadband," claimed Emma Sanderson, head of BT Broadband, in a statement.

Customers will also need an ADSL modem. This costs £80 from BT, but users can also supply their own hardware.

BT Broadband is BT's attempt to win a large percentage of the UK's broadband user base by offering a cut-down service that doesn't include extras like Web space or an email service. It has been available for some months, but a full-scale launch will take place in September.

At £27 per month, BT Broadband is cheaper than the broadband services offer by Btopenword, Freeserve and AOL, but still more expensive than products offered by smaller ISPs which include extras like email and Web space.

Angus Porter, the managing director of BT Retail's consumer division, told ZDNet UK recently that ISPs who charge less that £27 per month for broadband would be unable to sustain such pricing in the long term, as it is uneconomical.

Some ISPs are concerned that BT Broadband could threaten them, claiming that BT will use its dominant position in the UK telecoms market to tempt customers away from their existing broadband service providers.

Porter claimed, though, that ISPs would have to concentrate on the services they provided, suggesting that many would not survive if they weren't offering something extra to customers on top of the high-speed connection.

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