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Tuesday, 8 August, 2000, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Telewest cuts web access costs

The troubled cable operator Telewest is to cut the cost of its high speed internet access, under-cutting British Telecom's rival service.

Telewest's Blueyonder service is to fall from 50 to 33.

This compares with 40 a month for BT's high speed ADSL package.

The Telewest move is the first sign that the internet price war has spread to the market for high speed connections.

Many internet service providers have offered cheap or free dial-up web access but then found they were unable to deliver what they promised.

Customer resistance

Telewest's share price has tumbled in the past few weeks, as a result of problems with the roll-out of its digital television service.

It has also suffered problems with both its fixed price unlimited internet offering and with the Blueyonder service, which has picked up only 1,000 subscribers to date.

The price cut will be welcomed by industry regulator Oftel, which has warned that consumers may not be prepared to pay such high prices for high-speed internet access.

A recent survey by Oftel found that consumers were only prepared to pay about 13 a month for high speed access.

High-speed access

Telewest's Blueyonder service downloads web pages at up to nine times the speed of dial-up services.

Blueyonder's relaunch comes as BT prepares to step up marketing ahead of the mass market launch of its ADSL high speed service, which vastly expands the capabilities of copper telephone wires.

Both services promise always-on connections to the internet and, among other things, allow phone calls to be made while users are online.

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See also:

23 Mar 00 | Business
High-speed net: Is it worth it?
23 Mar 00 | Business
Telewest speeds internet
03 Aug 00 | Business
Telewest digital setback
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