Faster broadband goes nationwide

Telewest aims to win customers with a cable broadband product that downloads nearly twice as fast as competing services in the same price range

Telewest announced on Monday that it is rolling out a one-megabit-per-second (Mbps) consumer broadband product across its UK network.

It will cost £35 per month, or £39.99 per month for customers who don't also sign up for Telewest's digital TV and telephone services.

At 1Mbps, the new Blueyonder product is twice as fast as standard consumer broadband products based on BT's ADSL technology, but costs only a few pounds per month more than the 512kbps ADSL broadband services sold by major ISPs such as BTopenworld and Freeserve.

Telewest is hoping to attract computer users who need fast connection speeds for videoconferencing and streaming, and for downloading large multimedia files.

"One megabit per second is like viagra for your PC, providing a mind-blowing Internet experience that other service providers simply can't keep up with," said David Hobday, sales and marketing director of Telewest Broadband, in a statement.

Monday's nationwide launch follows customer trials in Scotland earlier this year. Telewest customers who currently use its 512kbps service can upgrade to the new 1Mbps product for free, but new subscribers must pay £50, on top of the monthly charges, to cover the cost of an engineer's visit to install the necessary equipment.

BT Wholesale only sells a 512kbps consumer ADSL product, but does also provide 1mbps and 2mbps products for business customers. Ntl offers a 1Mbps cable broadband service for £49.99.

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