BT has announced today that it will be doubling the speed of its customers’ Business Broadband Network connections, at no extra cost. Customers on the 512k and 1 meg pipes will be upgraded to Network 1000 and 2000 automatically.
Customers on the 2 meg service won’t be getting ablistering 4 meg however – instead they’ll see a UK£30 (€44) reduction in their monthly line rental.
Duncan Ingram, BT Retail’s managing director of Broadband and Internet Services commented: “High bandwidth is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for businesses. Companies now need to have more than one computer attached to a network connection and that’s exactly what our Network products are designed for. Doubling bandwidth, whilst not increasing price, is part of our continuing drive to give our business customers the tools they need to really harness broadband, giving them a clear advantage over competitors and enabling them to punch well above their weight. Not only does it make communication easier, but also enables small businesses to have access to the same applications and services that have traditionally only been open to much larger enterprises.”
Speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, the UK PM Tony Blair promised a broadband Britain by 2008, if the country voted Labour: “Our country and its people prospering in the knowledge economy. Increasing by £1bn the investment in science, boosting support to small businesses and ending the digital divide by bringing broadband technology to every home in Britain that wants it by 2008.”
Broadband is part of a package of ten items that Blair promises as part of a Labour third term. Included amongst them are ID cards and the electronic registration of everyone who passes the UK’s borders.
Given that it’s not actually the UK government who will be doing the connecting, it’s a bit of a cheeky promise.
Since BT have already estimated that 99.6% of households will be broadband accessible by July 2005, is Tony saying that voting Labour will delay the whole process by three years?