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Be overhauls its business broadband offering

Existing Be Office subscribers will enjoy significant savings from the end of this week
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Broadband provider Be is to revamp its business pricing on Friday.

Customers currently on the ISP's Be Office package, which costs £75 per month excluding VAT, will find themselves automatically moved over to the new Be Pro package, which is priced from just £40 per month including VAT. Some existing users might find the shift from net to gross pricing confusing, as it could be tricky to compare the old and new prices like for like.

Explaining the pricing shift, a spokesperson for O2 — which acquired Be in June 2006 — told ZDNet UK on Thursday that the ISP was trying to target "power users" as well as business customers, necessitating a shift to VAT-inclusive pricing. "We're moving away from pitching it like an office product because it's got benefits that power users want to make the best of," the spokesperson said, referring to enhanced support and static IP addresses.

For £40 per month, a subscriber gains unlimited broadband usage at up to 24Mbps downstream and up to 2.5Mbps upstream, with "prioritised member support" and a static IP address — useful for running servers or peer-to-peer operations. Subscribers will have to pay an additional fee per month for extra IP addresses.

However, new customers wanting to take up Be Pro but who don't need static IP addresses, enhanced support or the "upload plus" feature, which enables the 2.5Mbps uplink, can get away with paying just £24 per month including VAT.

Be currently provides services to around 36 percent of the UK population, although it intends to hit 50 percent by the end of the summer.

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