Tiscali unveils basic and advanced broadband products

British broadband users now have a wider range of capped services to choose from, and a 1Mbps service for under £30 per month

Tiscali launched a new range of broadband products on Wednesday that give another shake-up to Britain's high-speed Internet access market.

The telco has followed BT's lead and launched two broadband packages that both run at 512 kilobits per second (Kbps) but have some usage restrictions.

At £19.99 per month, the products are significantly cheaper than many of the other services on the market. However, one package limits users to downloading just one gigabyte of data a month; the other restricts them to just 50 hours of usage per month.

A user exceeding the 1GB cap will be charged two pence for each additional megabyte, and exceeding the 50-hour limit will cost two pence per minute.

Last week BT launched its BT Broadband Basic, a 512Kbps service that also imposes a 1GB/month cap. BT used this launch to hit out at operators such as Tiscali that sell 150Kbps 'broadband' products, but other ISPs were angered by some of BT's comments.

One BT insider suggested that these two new products from Tiscali could have been launched in response to BT Broadband Basic. Unlike BT's capped version, both of Tiscali's products come with a free modem and no activation fee.

Tiscali has also launched a 1Mbps broadband for £29.99 -- making it one of the cheapest 1Mbps options on the market. However, it will only be available to around four-fifths of the broadband market, as it uses BT Wholesale's Datastream service, which covers some 80 percent of broadband-enabled areas.

Mary Turner, Tiscali UK chief executive, said these three products give UK consumers good value across a range of broadband speeds.

"We are now offering a choice of six broadband packages at great prices to suit all needs and pockets. In addition these new products will include free Tiscali Secure Mail anti-spam and antivirus protection," said Turner.

Tiscali also revealed that it had signed up its 200,000th broadband user, putting it in third place in the market behind AOL and BT Retail -- which has almost one million broadband users. There are just over two million ADSL users in total in Britain.