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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
BT steps up home broadband battle
Home broadband communications equipment
BT's Total Broadband offers a range of services
BT has stepped up the battle for integrated home media services with the launch of BT Total Broadband.

The telecoms giant said the new service would bring together several broadband products, including video on demand, internet calls and video phones.

The move follows broadband and phone service launches from Carphone Warehouse and mobile phone firm Orange.

Former BT mobile arm O2 has also joined in, announcing that it is to buy broadband firm Be for 50m.

BT is struggling to fend off growing competition for residential customers.

The former telecoms monopoly said earlier this month that it had lost more than half a million retail customers to rival operators.

'Better quality'

BT said its new service would offer faster download speeds of up to 8Mb, and free evening and weekend UK voice calls with BT's Broadband Talk service.

COMPARING BROADBAND COSTS
Carphone Warehouse Talk3: 20.99
BT Total Broadband Option 3: 26.99 + 11 BT line rental
NTL Telephone & Broadband: 32.99
Tiscali Broadband & Anytime Talk: 21.99 + 11 BT line rental

Prices are for monthly standard rates, including some free landline phone calls and a minimum download speed of 2Mb

But with a monthly charge of up to 26.99 a month plus line rental, BT Total Broadband remains more expensive than Carphone Warehouse's new broadband service, which retails at 20.99 including line rental.

However, Ian Livingston, BT Retail's chief executive, said his company's service would enable customers to do more than simply surf the internet.

"Our competitors don't actually offer high definition talk, which gives you a much better quality of sound when you chat with your friends over the internet," he told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.

"They don't offer video telephony, they don't offer free wi-fi," he said.

Carphone Warehouse said earlier this month that it had signed up 340,000 customers to its new broadband offer, beating market expectations.




SEE ALSO
Broadband offer boosts Carphone
06 Jun 06 |  Business
Orange branches out from mobiles
31 May 06 |  Business
NTL and BT users 'dissatisfied'
19 May 06 |  Business
BT buys online retailer Dabs.com
28 Apr 06 |  Business
Phone firm launches net price war
11 Apr 06 |  Business

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