Broadband cable puts its foot down

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There’s very good news for anyone in the UK who gets their broadband via cable. Both the major cable providers, Telewest and NTL, have announced that they will up the data speeds of current subscribers from May for no extra cost to the user.

Telewest’s option is especially good news for serious online gamers, videoaholics and those with wireless home networks as it is now upping the speed of its top rate service from 2mbps (which currently costs £50 a month) to 3mbps. Those on the 1mpbs (£35 per month) service now get 1.5mbps and those who opt for the standard 512kbps (£25 per month) are upped an extra 250kbps to 750 kbps. Telewest’s 256kbps offering, which retails for £17.99, remains unaffected.

With NTL the major surgery is at the low-end where for £17.99 per month it is offering a 300kbps service. The 750kbps offering (up from 512) retails for £25 while the new 1.5mbps service is £38.

Both NTL and Telewest are also taking about the option of variable bandwidth. This would offer consumers the chance to temporarily up the speed of their connections, say for a night or a weekend, to undertake specific jobs, such as downloading large music and video files.

Existing Telewest and NTL subscribers don’t have to adjust their PCs or modems for the faster speeds to kick in. It will all be done automatically.

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