BT is to offer millions of customers the chance to boost their broadband speed for free with the launch of faster headline speeds of up to 20Mb/s and the BT Broadband Accelerator.
BT Retail broadband customers already enjoy download speeds of up to 8Mb/s, but in enabled areas that will leap to up to 20Mb/s to deliver consistently faster broadband all day and night even at peak times. Upload speeds will also increase from up to 448Kb/s to up to 1Mb.
Unlike other broadband providers, BT Retail say they are offering the faster speeds at no extra cost. The cheapest broadband option is just £7.78 a month for the first three months.
Faster speeds will initially be available through 549 exchanges serving 10 million – or 40 per cent – of the UK’s homes and businesses. Coverage will increase to 55 per cent by March 2010.
The BT Broadband Accelerator – a speed booster pack worth £15 – will be free for BT Total Broadband customers who order it online, with postage of just £1.20. The BT Broadband Accelerator includes a small plate that customers, who have more than one phone socket, can easily insert into their main telephone socket to reduce the impact of electrical interference; this may increase broadband speed by 1.5Mb. It also comes with an easy self-install guide as well as a comprehensive 10-step guide on how to optimise broadband speeds and will help customers get the most out of their broadband connection.
BT research shows that one of the main causes of slow broadband is customers’ home wiring. The BT Broadband Accelerator plate, also known as the I-Plate, isolates a redundant wire in the socket which can slow connections. Although speed improvements are likely, they cannot be guaranteed. Even if it does not improve speed the device can help stabilise broadband lines making them even more reliable.
John Petter, managing director of BT’s Consumer division, said: “The BT Broadband Accelerator can make a big difference to the speed of your broadband. We think it is so important we’ve taken the decision to offer it to our customers for just the cost of the postage.
“Between that and us more than doubling headline speeds for millions of homes and businesses, most customers should start to see a rapid boost in the performance of their connection. We have a track record of not charging customers any more when we increase the speed and this time is no different. BT broadband customers won’t have to pay any more to get higher speeds.
“These two moves demonstrate our commitment to helping the UK move closer to the kind of widely-available speeds published in the Digital Britain report.”
ADSL2+ – BT Consumer
New customers or re-contracting BT Total Broadband customers in an enabled exchange area will automatically be eligible for up to 20Mb/s broadband service from as little as £7.78 per month. Customers will be able to order or simply find out when they can get up to 20Mb/s and what speed they can expect via BT.com. Existing customers will be asked to sign a new contract.
The BT Broadband Accelerator will be offered free to BT Total broadband customers who order it online.
ADSL2+ – BT Business
New or re-contracting BT Business Broadband customer in an enabled exchange area will automatically be eligible for the up to 20Mb/s service. Orders can be placed by customers direct online, or via any offline business sales channel. Customers will not pay any more for the new service, which offers up to 20Mb/s downstream speeds. The upstream (customer to exchange) line speed will improve to 1Mb/s.
The BT Business Total Broadband tariff also remains the same and includes BT Openzone Wi-Fi minutes. BT Business Option 3 customers also receive free mobile broadband and other business services worth over £750. BT Business Total Broadband is available from £12.50 (ex VAT) per month including 24/7 UK freephone business support. Businesses also have the flexibility to build their own communications package by bundling their broadband with calls to UK landlines, mobiles and international numbers from only £27.50.
The BT Broadband Accelerator will be offered free to customers in instances where BT believes performance can be improved.