UPDATED: BT Cuts Broadband Prices By Up to 25%, but caps downloads.

With many companies getting in on the cheap broadband bandwagon, BT has been losing customers to upstarts like Wanadoo and Tiscali. In a effort to attract more customers, and keep the ones that it has, the British telco has announced cuts across their range of consumer broadband packages. And about time too, as they were the most expensive provider out there.

The standard BT Broadband package is down from UK£27 to UK£25 (€40 down to €37.30) for a 512k connection, whilst the BT Yahoo! Broadband 1mb product gets cut down to £30 from £41 (€44.75 down to €61.16) – more than a 25% reduction.

No doubt BT’s broadband competitors will react almost immediately with price cuts of their own, in order to keep winning business, but the question is: how low can it go?

UPDATE: The bad news is, that bandwidth is now capped.

BT have written to their customers to explain:

“So that we can continue to offer our best possible price to customers, we’ll be introducing a usage allowance of 15GB of data a month. This is more than enough for the vast majority of our customers – for example, you can still download up to 3,000 music tracks every month. ”

“You’ve absolutely no need to worry: the usage allowance will only be applied from early 2005 and, based on your current usage levels, you won’t be affected by this change to your Terms & Conditions.”

The danger here is – what happens when you want to view video on demand on your PC? At 2 megabits per second, a 2hr film will use up 1.9 gigbytes of storage, so you’d get just under nine films a month and no browsing or music. We’ll be coming back to this and exploring it in greater depth in the next few days.

BT’s broadband pricing

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?