Businesses can look forward to saving up to £700 per year on their broadband connection, as Internet service providers react to last week's wholesale price cuts.
Eclipse Internet, Zen Internet, Plusnet and V21 are among the first to announce how they will respond to BT's decision to slash the cost of its wholesale business ADSL products by over 50 percent. The good news for small and medium-sized businesses is that these reductions are being passed on to them.
From 1 May, BT will cut the cost of its entry-level IPStream Office 500 product from £40 to £18 per month, the midrange IPStream Office 1000 from £60 to £28 per month, and the top-end IPStream Office 2000 from £80 to £38 per month (all prices in this article are excluding VAT). These wholesale products are resold to businesses by a range of ISPs.
For Eclipse Internet customers, this will mean a reduction of over 40 percent in their monthly broadband bills. Starting next month, its ADSL Connect 500 product -- based on IPStream Office 500 -- will now cost £32 per month (down from £60), ADSL Connect 1000 will cost £52 per month (down from £95).
Eclipse's ADSL Connect 2000 will cost £82 per month (down from £140) -- a saving of around £700 over 12 months.
"We are delighted to hear the news on the price reductions from BT, particularly the comparatively large drop in the cost of higher bandwidth services. This will enable us to place faster connection options within reach for our rapidly growing SME market," said Mark Lang, managing director of Eclipse, in a statement announcing the new pricing.
Zen Internet, V21 and Plusnet are all also making similar cuts to their business ADSL ranges.
Zen's Office 500 service will cost £38 per month from 1 May, with the Office 1000 product coming in at £58 per month and the Office 2000 at £83. In addition, Zen has also ditched the standard £50 activation fee.
V21 is cutting the cost of its Business 500 product to £34 per month, its Business 1000 product to £60 per month and its Business 2000 product to £85 per month.
Over at Plusnet -- which has also just launched 1Mbps and 2Mbps consumer broadband products -- business ADSL will range from £40 per month for its Office 500 service to £70 per month for its Office 2000 service, a saving of £40 per month.
"We fully anticipate significant take-up of these new products as ADSL availability accelerates through the UK," said Alistair Wyse, Plusnet's technical director.
Announcing the wholesale price cuts last week, Ben Verwaayen -- chief executive of BT -- said that they reflected the fact that broadband was a key technology for businesses.
The response to the cuts has been mixed, though. Rival network operator Thus has complained to Oftel about these business price cuts, and some critics have played down the significance of a small cut in the price of BT's wholesale consumer ADSL product.