BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 17 May, 2001, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
BT stonewalls on broadband charges
Detail from BTopenworld web page
BT has declined to comment on reports that is considering increasing charges for consumer broadband access to the internet.

A spokesman for BTopenworld, the company's broadband internet service provider (ISP), said: "We keep our prices under constant review.

"It is a fast-changing market."

Reports that BT was considering lifting prices came one day after Freeserve, one of BT's main competitors in the UK consumer broadband market, said it was raising prices 25% to 49.99 a month.

Too high

Freeserve has been one of several ISPs to complain about the wholesale prices it is charged for broadband access by BT Ignite, which it says are inhibiting the spread of high-speed internet access in the UK.

It has said wholesale prices of 35 a month are too high to make broadband a mass-market proposition and should be cut by more than half.

BT has rejected the criticism, insisting it has worked hard and invested heavily to make broadband available for all ISPs.

It has also dismissed charges that it has given preferential treatment to BTopenworld, its own ISP specialising in providing broadband access.

'Obviously growing'

The Financial Times newspaper on Thursday quoted BTopenworld chief executive Andy Green as saying he was looking "very seriously" at prices it charged consumers and would make a decision on any changes "in the next eight weeks or so".

BTopenworld currently charges 39.99 a month for broadband access, plus a 150 installation fee.

It has about 27,000 customers.

The spokesman declined to comment on the sensitive issue of how many new customers the company was attracting each month, beyond saying the market was "obviously growing".

Freeserve has also declined to give customer numbers.

Long way behind Europe

The total number of broadband users in the UK connected via BT's network is believed to be about 50,000.

Broadband services are also provided by cable companies such as NTL and Telewest.

UK broadband penetration levels remain a long way behind some parts of Europe.

Deutsche Telekom alone has about 500,000 broadband customers.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Broadband: What you need to know


Background:
See also:

16 May 01 | Business
Freeserve hikes broadband prices
03 Apr 01 | Business
UK behind in broadband race
08 Feb 01 | Business
BT's broadband 'disgrace'
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories