There have been rumblings around the press in the last few days that Carphone Warehouse was about to do-a-Google and offer free broadband. Now the facts are out it isn’t quite so exciting, but the repercussions are certainly intriguing.
Under the mildly misleading banner of ‘Free broadband …forever’, the concept is actually part of an Internet and calls package. Users sign up for the Talk3 International plan which costs £9.99 per month and includes unlimited local and national calls with free international calls to 28 countries (for a full breakdown go here. On top of this is the firm’s £11 TalkTalk monthly line rental (similar to what BT customers pay). Sign up to this £20.99 total cost and you’ll get an 8Mbps broadband connection with hefty 40GB usage allowance thrown in free. A small hidden cost to bear in mind is the online security package Carphone Warehouse offers. A Standard or Premium package can be selected and cost £2.49 and £3.49 respectively.
So ultimately what we have here is a good value calls and broadband package. Whether the broadband is truly free is in the eye of the beholder much like buying two and getting one free in a supermarket can be seen as just that or one third off the price of each. With 8Mbps connections available from around the £15 and alternative unlimited call schemes starting from just £5 per month the Carphone Warehouse deal isn’t as revolutionary as we had been led to believe but it is still the most comprehensive package to hit the UK market yet and you can’t say fairer than that…