BT doubles business broadband speeds, for free

With rivals upping the pressure, BT is looking to attract and retain enterprise customers by speeding up its broadband offering

Companies using two of BT's business broadband services will soon see their connection speed double, without any additional cost to them.

The move, announced on Wednesday, will affect firms who have signed up for the 512 kilobits-per-second (Kbps) and one megabit-per-second (Mbps) versions of the BT Business Broadband Network range. These will now provide connectivity at 1Mbps and 2Mbps respectively.

The upgrades will take place before the end of 2004.

BT says the move will help companies to access its online services, including its security and e-business offerings.

"Companies now need to have more than one computer attached to a network connection and that's exactly what our network products are designed for," said Duncan Ingram, BT Retail's managing director of broadband and Internet services, in a statement.

The move comes at a time when BT is facing increased competition from its rivals. Bulldog has just launched a product that offers a 4Mbps connection with a voice tariff bundled in.

BT is also bringing in a service level guarantee for its Business Broadband Network customers that it hopes will give firms confidence that any faults will be fixed quickly. A BT spokesperson was not immediately available to provide further detail on the service level guarantee process.

While the speed increases will make 1Mbps service the entry-level standard, the 512Kbps product will be retained. It will be offered to companies whose telephone line is of too poor quality to support a 1Mbps link but can cope with a slower service.