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BTopenworld to spend millions on broadband ads

The ADSL provider plans a massive TV and online advertising campaign as ISPs begin to push cheaper broadband services
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

While rivals such as AOL are still formulating their broadband strategy following last week's price cuts, BTopenworld is planning a major marketing campaign for its high-speed Internet services.

BTopenworld announced on Friday that it will spend several million pounds over the next three months on advertising and promotions for its broadband services. As well as a TV advertisement for Plug & Go, its self-installation consumer product, the company is planning a blizzard of online adverts.

In a statement, Alison Ritchie, BTopenworld's chief executive explained that the broadband marketing drive was an attempt to educate and excite both consumers and businesses. "Launching our lower priced, self-install product 'Plug & Go' was the first step to achieving this goal -- and the results so far are fantastic. Promoting broadband aggressively, via increased marketing and distribution deals that bring broadband to the streets, is the next step," Richie said.

Many ISPs have boosted their customer numbers by making installation CDs available in supermarkets and other retailers, and BTopenworld is planning to use this technique. A total of two million discs will be distributed to the public through "selected high street shops".

BTopenworld has also signed deals with a number of hardware manufacturers that will see its broadband registration software installed on 6.4 million pieces of kit. It's not clear at this stage which companies are involved in this initiative.

Plug & Go will cost £29.99 per month, and was launched at the end of February following the significant price cuts announced by BT Wholesale. Customers who sign up in the next three months will be able to avoid paying a £65 activation charge, as long as they buy a modem from BT for £85.

AOL welcomed BT Wholesale's price cuts, but has not yet revealed its broadband plans. Freeserve has said that it will charge £29.99 per month for its consumer broadband package, but hasn't released details of modem or activation costs.

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