Virgin takes axe to broadband start-up cost

The cost of a starter pack goes down, and continues to swallow the activation fee too announced on Monday that it is cutting the start-up cost of upgrading to broadband by £20.

From 1 May, the ISP will charge £59.99 for a starter pack that includes a SpeedTouch USB modem and two phone line filters, compared to the earlier price of £79.99. is also continuing to waive the broadband activation fee, even though BT Wholesale's half-price offer on this £50 charge recently ended.

"At the beginning of 2003 we removed the activation fee altogether and we will now continue to offer free broadband activation for the foreseeable future," said Peter Tuomey, sales and marketing director, in a statement.

Once connected, customers will be charged £24.99 per month for their broadband access.

From 1 May, the wholesale price of BT's ADSL -- resold by and over 100 other ISPs -- will drop from £14.75 per month to £13, unless Oftel blocks the move.

According to some ISPs, this reduction is effectively being cancelled out by the ending of the £25 activation fee offer.

As a result, the monthly wholesale saving generally isn't being passed onto consumers through lower monthly charges because many operators are choosing to continue offering free or half-price activation instead.

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