BT gets into the home computing market

The telco now plans to sell Toshiba and HP PCs as part of an all-in-one broadband PC package

BT has today unveiled another broadband-related offering -- BT Home Computing, an attempt to entice technology novices with an all-in-one PC package.

The telco is offering a total of eight different packages, all of which include installation by a BT engineer and ongoing support.

Surprisingly enough for a company which has recently come in for some criticism over its broadband revenues, the PCs on offer come broadband-ready.

BT wants BT Home Computing to generate £150m of the £681m broadband-related revenues the company has said it will be making by 2004 to 2005.

Customers can pay for one of eight offerings in monthly instalments, starting at £35.99 over a three year period at an APR of 12.9 percent. At the end of the three years, customers will own their package.

Angus Porter, managing director of BT Retail's consumer division, said in a statement: "Choosing and using a home computer shouldn't be the stressful experience it clearly is. In order to help customers get the most out of technology and communications, we've made it easy for them to choose the right PC with minimum hassle, providing customers with all the support they need along the way."

He added: "By teaming up with the very best organisations in computing, we are able to enter a completely new market, building on our commitment to build Broadband Britain, and fill an important gap in the home PC market."

HP and Toshiba will provide the Windows XP PCs, while UK-based computer products distributor Westcoast will provide logistics support. Customer support comes from Convergys. Symantec is providing antivirus software and firewall protection.

Last week, BT and Microsoft announced that they would be working together on a range of broadband applications to complement BT Broadband, the high-speed internet access package sold by BT Retail. Also last week, Dell said that its customers will be able to order PCs pre-installed with the BT Broadband product.

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