LONDON: BT group is upgrading all its Broadband Basic subscribers to 2 Mb from Thursday. The upgrade, which will stay as the standard speed for all the company’s packages, will be free for the current as well as prospective subscribers, the company said.
The company has decided to retain the price of the service at 17.99 pounds a month.
Making an announcement Wednesday, BT group managing director Gavin Patterson said, “Today’s announcement creates a standard of a minimum broadband speed of 2Mb for all our retail broadband services – these higher speeds open up a wealth of new possibilities for the use of broadband.”
The company said it believes that the “battleground in broadband will be in differentiating services rather than price and speed as it is today”. While the speed has been doubled, the company has kept its monthly usage limit at 1 Gb.
BT group added its five millionth broadband customer this year. It claims its service is available to 99.5 percent of homes. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics in Britain said by May 2005 broadband constituted 51 per cent of all connections to the Internet in Britain against just 1 per cent in January 2001, clearly indicating that broadband is the preferred medium. In contrast, the number of dial-up connections is declining.
While broadband is 10 to 80 times faster than the dial-up, it provides for permanent connection to the Web, which can also be used to receive telephone calls.
The price of the service too has fallen in recently to even less than 10 pounds a month for a 512 Kb connection. Several operators are offering higher download speeds at no extra cost. There are firms which even offer bandwidths of up to 8 Mb.