Freeserve cuts broadband price

Fresh from accusing BTopenworld of anti-competitive behaviour, Freeserve slashes the start-up cost of its DIY broadband service

Freeserve is upping the odds in its battle with rival Internet Service Provider BTopenworld by cutting the start-up cost of its self-installation broadband service.

Customers who sign up before the end of May will only be charged a total of £84.99. This covers both the ADSL modem and the activation fee charged by BT Wholesale. Freeserve's broadband customers will then be charged £29.99 (inc. VAT) per month for the service. BTopenworld also charges £29.99 (inc. VAT) per month, while some smaller ISPs are charging less.

Freeserve had previously said it would charge customers a total of £200 for modem and activation fee -- significantly more than most other ISPs. The new £84.99 deal puts it on a par with BTopenworld, and is the first stage of Freeserve's broadband marketing plan.

The second phase is expected to see Freeserve aggressively promoting its high-speed Internet product throughout stores in the Dixon's chain. Although Freeserve is no longer owned by Dixons, the two firms still work closely together.

Last month, Freeserve issued a litany of complaints against BTopenworld, accusing it of engaging in predatory pricing, being illegally subsidised by BT Wholesale, and of having been given advanced warning that BT Wholesale was planning to slash the cost of its broadband products.

Freeserve has not yet managed to meet with Oftel to discuss its concerns, and the ISP is understood to be increasingly angry that such a meeting has not yet taken place.

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