With the weekend fast approaching, we thought we’d put you in the right frame of mind with an update on the latest broadband deals out there because it seems, after a slow start, that the UK is fast becoming a surfer’s paradise.
First up is our old friend UK Online, king of the 8Mbit connection. As broadband speeds increase we are surprised it remains the sole provider of this blazingly quick connection, but that it does. It is not resting on its laurels either having decided to cut its monthly charge by £10 to the outrageously good value of £29.99.
The new price also includes a free wireless router if you sign up before 3 May and you can expect upload speeds of up to 400Kbps, a low contention ratio of 33:1 and a massive download allowance of 500GB per month. If service providers are going to have caps, that is more like it...
In addition, this offer will be extended to existing UK Online customers, so if you signed up under the previous price of £39.99 you’ll get the same benefit as new subscribers, which is jolly decent of them if you ask me?
As of 11 April, UK Online has announced two more deals. A superb uncapped 512k service for just £9.99 per month, a new record low we believe (mail us if you know differently), which includes free modem and a reduced £25 connection charge. Secondly, a 2Mbps line is yours for £19.99. It also comes with a free modem and the same £25 connection charge. This company is really pulling out all the stops right now.
If you are looking for something even faster than 8Mbps then you’ll be pleased to know Easynet is the latest service provider to announce trials of ADSL2 and ADSL2+ technologies which offer speeds up to 24Mbps. They anticipate a full commercial launch in the second half of 2005. Last month NTL completed successful trials of ADSL2+ at speeds of up to 18Mbps. If the UK keeps going at this rate I’ll finally be able to shut Lars up, once and for all, about how great Sweden is.
Moving on and we’ve got PlusNet who has extended its offer of FREE wireless Internet access at BT Hotspots until 1 May. All you have to do is sign up here and you don’t even need to be a PlusNet customer to take advantage. Contracts run on a monthly basis once the trial is over too, so there’s no long terms commitment. Sounds like another bargain to me.
Finally, it looks like we are all starting to catch the broadband bug after BT announced figures showing it has connected its five millionth customer (which they weren’t expected to do until 2006). Incredibly, the rate of broadband adoption in UK homes is growing so quickly the company claims it is outstripping the take up of mobile phones.
Buoyed by these figures into a suitably cocky mood, BT then announced grand plans saying by 2007 it will have every school in Britain connected to broadband, boost the UK economy by £7.5bn through productivity gains “directly attributed to broadband”, save up to 16bn miles from being driven due to the increases of people working from home and shopping online and reduce hospital waiting times through patients booking online.
Now, I know some of these are a little tenuous (I’m a hard bitten, cynical, English journalist remember?) but in the spirit of it being Friday afternoon and the fact that everything on this page is very positive I’m not going to let rip.
Besides, we’re starting to get fast, cheap Internet access that is available to just about everyone these days and that makes me kinda giddy.