Well, it has taken some time, but it looks like UK broadband customers are finally going to get some better deals. This conclusion comes after BT today rolled out speed upgrades to consumers at no extra cost, but for heavy downloaders looking to capitalise with some serious bandwidth swallowing usage the bad news is the caps still remain.
Under the announcement, BT will ramp up all its current packages to 2Mbit/sec; excluding Broadband Basic which will go to 1Mbit/sec. Download limits will be a measly 1GB on the Basic package for £17.99 per month, 15GB for BT Broadband at £24.99 per month and 15GB and 30GB for BT Yahoo! Broadband when priced at £26.99 and £29.99 respectively.
Speaking about the announcement Ian Livingstone, Head Honcho at BT Retail (pictured above), enthusiastically proclaimed, “BT is about giving value for money. Today we are offering customers up to four times the broadband speed without charging a penny more. It will allow customers to get even more from their broadband services for entertainment, education or communication.”
Before concluding, “It’s time to get the most from the Internet.”
Now, while it is hard to put a downer on more speed at no extra cost, it has to be said that BT’s continued policy of offering no uncapped consumer packages still strikes us as ridiculous. BT is encouraging its customer base of approximately 1.4 million to embrace the multimedia aspects of high speed Internet but by keeping limits it is simply encouraging us to max out our allowance faster. It’s like a garage offering you a Hummer for your old Daewoo but expecting you to use the same amount of fuel.
Of course, as a telco provider BT can’t be seen to massively undercut ISPs without facing a barrage of complaints to regulator Ofcom but that shouldn't mean a total absence of unlimited usage packages. They don’t have to be the cheapest, just available. After all, a lot of people are happy to pay that bit extra to be with what they see as a large and reliable provider. To extend the previous metaphor, it’s like picking up your new Hummer with a Daewoo amount of fuel in it, running low by the time you exit the garage forecourt (which sounds plausible) and turning back only to be told by the garage you cannot have anymore petrol, no matter how much you offer them.
All of which makes it a little strange that as part of BT’s announcement it has also revised its business costs with 2Mbit/sec Business Broadband Single, Share, Network and Network SLG (Service Level Guarantee) coming in at £29.99, £45, £65, and £100 respectively. All of these services have unlimited usage. So my question is: At £29.99 per month for the Single package, how hard do you think it would be to pretend you were a small business?