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BTopenworld may not pass on DIY ADSL savings

The ISP's customer support warns that BTopenworld's forthcoming DIY broadband package may not be any cheaper than its existing ADSL product
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

BTopenworld may be planning to sell its self-installation consumer broadband product at the same price as its existing ADSL services, even though other Internet Service Providers are using the self-install option to cut the price of their broadband offerings.

BTopenworld has yet to announce details of its self-install ADSL services, even though some rival ISPs have been accepting advance orders since the start of this year. The word from the company's own customer support department, though, is that it will charge £39.99 (including VAT) per month -- the same as it currently charges its existing consumer ADSL customers.

BT Wholesale is selling the self-install product to ISPs for £25 per month, compared to £30 per month for traditional ADSL. ISPs then resell this product to consumers. Firms such as Iomart and Plusnet have already guaranteed to pass this saving onto customers.

But one ZDNet UK reader has been told that BTopenworld may have different plans. He contacted the ISP to see if he could move from BTopenworld's Home 500 broadband service to a self-install product, and therefore enjoy a £5 per month saving, but he was disappointed with the response.

"We are under the impression that the Plug and Go (Self Install) will still be charged at the same monthly rate of £39.99, although we do not have the finalised details," wrote a member of BTopenworld's Broadband Team.

BTopenworld has refused to confirm the pricing. "We took part in the trial of self-installation ADSL, and we're currently working on our plans for a commercial product. We haven't finalised details of the pricing, but there will be an announcement later this month," Tony Henderson, head of media relations at BTopenworld, told ZDNet UK News on Monday.

Several ISPs took part in last year's trial of self-installation broadband. BTopenworld charged triallists £39.99 (inc. VAT) per month -- although it waived the £50 installation fee. Other ISPs, including Zen Internet, passed on the £5 per month wholesale saving to its trial customers -- although in some cases this still meant that users were not paying any less than £40 per month.

BTopenworld is thought to have more than 50 percent of the ADSL market in the UK. Take-up of broadband in the UK has been disappointing so far, but many in the industry have seen DIY ADSL as a good way of enticing home users to move to a high-speed Internet connection.

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