Plusnet offers speedier broadband upgrades for a fiver

In a bid to clear an 11-week backlog of customers waiting to be transferred for free to Plusnet's 8Mbps Max service, the ISP is offering customers a three-day upgrade for £5

Broadband provider Plusnet is offering a faster migration to customers wanting to upgrade to its max-speed product — for a fee.

Customers who have opted for the free upgrade up to 8Mbps may have to wait for up to 11 weeks to go through the bulk migration process, in which a thousand requests per week are being sent to BT by Plusnet. Therefore, the internet service provider (ISP) has offered to make manual, individual requests to BT for a fee of £5. This would ensure migration within days.

"We've processed 65,000 people on the free upgrade," a Plusnet spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. "We've [still] got around 11,000 people [in the queue] — it will take a number of weeks to get those people upgraded through the bulk process."

The spokesperson denied the scheme means that customers who don't pay the will get bumped down the queue, stressing that the two upgrade streams will run independently of one another. He added that free-upgrade customers were "being processed in the order they opted in".

According to PlusNet, each ISP can only have a set number of regrades processed by BT each week. This helps BT handle the demand from over 100 ISPs which resell its broadband services.

The ISP estimated that around 75 customers per week to take up the offer of a sped-up upgrade. Asked what Plusnet would do if a large proportion of queuing customers opted for the offer, the spokesperson said the company "would be very busy putting those orders through".

This migration — an upgrade from BT's ADSL product to its Max ADSL product — is separate from Plusnet's transfer of some customers onto Tiscali's unbundled LLU platform. That migration , which involves clearing an entirely different backlog of customers, is currently suspended, although Plusnet's spokesperson said the ISP was in talks with Tiscali to resume the process shortly.