There’s good and bad news for subscribers to BT’s broadband services. The company announced today that it was slashing the price of its core services with its 512Kb offering reduced from £29.99 to £26.99 and its faster 1Mb connection down from £40.99 to £26.99.
The bad news is that the company is introducing a cap on the amount of material users are able to download.
Users of its two 512Kb services will be restricted to downloading 15GB a month. Although BT says this will still enable users to surf for 15 hours a day or download 250 music tracks and 180 minutes of video every week, it is in our eyes a retrograde step.
Over the next year or so video downloads and streaming will start arriving in the UK, and two movies a week sounds very poor value. Also the digital home would ideally rely on content that is downloaded by consumers on their PC’s hard drive being automatically backed up on ISP servers. Capping users makes this even less likely to happen.
The Guardian reports that the move comes as new research from Enders Analysis shows BT is losing broadband customers to rivals such as Wanadoo and Tiscali. Two years ago BT Retail connected 58% of UK broadband customers – this year that has fallen to just 42%.
Even with the price drop BT is still not very competitive. Wanadoo offers a similar package for £17.99 a month, while Tiscali offers a “broadband lite” service from £15.99.