Research has revealed that two thirds of UK Internet users are deeply unchuffed about having to pay a BT line rental on top of their broadband subscription.
The stating-the-bleeding-obvious revelation was the conclusion of an online survey of more than 1,000 broadband subscribers in the UK who were questioned in June 2005 by online research company, TickBox.
The research, carried out on behalf of the broadband telephony outfit Vonage, also revealed that only 37% of Internet users believe there is a real choice of telephony provider, against 72% for mobile phones.
Vonage has demanded ‘Naked DSL’ in the UK, which would enable consumers to independently subscribe to telephone and broadband services and allow users to subscribe to a VoIP service instead of a traditional fixed-line service,
In a statement, Vonage commented: “In the UK, by the end of this year, broadband subscribers will be paying a surcharge of £672m annually to BT in line rental on top of their broadband bill, no matter who their ISP is.”
“Broadband subscribers deserve the right to choose their broadband and telephone providers independently without being forced to pay for a telephone line they may never use,” clarion-called Vonage UK MD Kerry Ritz.
“The broadband infrastructure will support a variety of services, one of which is telephony. Customers should be able to decide what services they want to ‘plug’ into their broadband network in the same way that they choose their electricity provider,” he added.
BT was quick to scoff at Vonage’s appeal, putting on its best supercilious tone while patting the upstarts on the head, saying that the company had little grasp of the costs involved in supporting its nationwide broadband network.
“We are aware that applications providers that don’t contribute to the cost of building and supporting that ever improving broadband network have little appreciation of the economics involved,” said a BT spokesman. “Our customers, however, do”.