Telewest cuts cost of DIY broadband

The cable firm believes it now has the lowest start-up fee of any UK broadband ISP

Telewest has launched a self-installation version of its broadband product that will let its customers upgrade to high-speed Internet access for a one-off fee of £12.50.

The cable firm claimed on Monday that it now offers the lowest start-up fee for a broadband service in the UK.

The self-installation option means that customers simply have to telephone Telewest, who will send them a starter-pack -- which includes the necessary adaptors, software and manuals -- through the post and activate their broadband service remotely.

Alternatively, customers can still choose to have a technician visit their home and activate the broadband service at a cost of £50 -- although this has been halved to £25 until the end of February.

Most ADSL Internet service providers have cut their activation fees for the first three months of this year, passing on a wholesale price cut from BT. Some -- including BT Openworld -- have permanently scrapped them.

Because its set-top box already includes a modem, Telewest insists that its offer is still better because customers don't have to buy any broadband hardware.

"This is no gimmick or short-term offer. We're breaking new barriers for customers who are considering broadband for the first time. It's fantastic value and requires no separate modem or external activation, so set-up is normally possible within 30 minutes," said Chad Raube, director of Internet services at Telewest Broadband.

"BT has finally got round to dropping some of its activation and hardware fees, but they're not playing in the same ball park. These packs combine our digital TV and broadband internet technology to offer the kind of value that other ISPs can only dream of," Raube claimed.

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