Last week NTL took the wind out of BT's sails with the announcement that it was significantly increasing the download speeds without changing its monthly charges. The 300Kbm service would up upped to 1MB for £17.99 a month. The 750KB service would become 1MB at £25 a month, while a newly introduced 3MB service would be introduced at £38 a month.
The increased speeds will be given to new customers from the beginning on next year. For existing customers NTL is asking for a £25 ‘administration’ charge to turn on the new speeds.
This would certainly make NTL top of the pile for broadband speed and value in the UK. However, rumours have appeared on some web sites claiming that the new speeds would be subject to strictly enforced download caps. This would work out as follows.
1MB – £17.99 - 5GB monthly usage allowance.
2MB – £24.99 - 30GB monthly usage allowance.
3MB – £37.99 - 40GB monthly usage allowance.
If true this would be a marked change from the 1GB per day cap that is currently in place, which is also only enforced for persistent abusers of the cap.
Following in NTL’s footsteps, Blueyonder has also announced speed increases. Its standard service is boosted from 750Kb to 1MB, at £25 a month, while its 1.5MB becomes 2MB for £35 a month. Blueyonder already has a 3MB service, and this is upped to a massive 4MB at a cost of £50 per month. The entry-level 256Kb service remains unchanged and the price is actually increasing from £15 to £18 a month.
While its prices are more expensive than NTL’s the Blueyonder services are uncapped. However, as nobody gets a choice of cable service it’s pretty much academic anyway.