BT Responds to Broadband Price Increase Concerns

BT has responded to yesterday's news, which highlighted the operators planned broadband price changes (news) for wholesale ISP customers. Unfortunately several smaller providers raised concerns that the changes could result in higher pricing or even greater service restrictions:

A BT spokeswoman said: "BT Wholesale is introducing pricing changes across its broadband product range. These price changes are aimed at encouraging communications providers to switch from current generation 20C wholesale broadband products to IPstream Max or to our new, next generation products which offer better value, higher speeds, enhanced functionality and, in the case of the Wholesale Broadband Connect family, a solution for communications providers' growing bandwidth requirements."

BT was also keen to point out that it had reduced the price of broadband services by 14% since April 2007. The operator claims that the majority of its 8.2m customers (6m on IPStream Max [8Mbps ADSL]) will see no material change as a result of the adjustments.

Naturally it makes sense to promote newer products over older ones, although using price as an incentive when both WBC, WBMC and newer IPStream Connect derivatives have yet to fully spread their wings (coverage) is questionable:

murphx Director, Carl Churchill, commented to us: "In essence whilst the demand for bandwidth is on the increase, BT have decided to increase capacity costs by 25%, increase charges for fixed line broadband services and make a slight reduction in DSL Max costs.

The reality is though, people who base their services on BT IP Stream are going to be nursing exponential increases in costs. For some this may be terminal but end users should be prepared for tighter restrictions and potential cost increases as a result of this."

The problem is compounded by the fact that some ISPs will be forced to manage two separate broadband platforms until WBMC and IPStream Connect surface towards the end of next year. Crucially, those two products will offer easier migration between existing and newer services.

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