Internet service providers (ISPs) which resell BT's ADSL broadband connections have pledged to cut charges once the telco's wholesale price fall of £5 a month is implemented in September. But they say that BT will have to offer better service guarantees before UK businesses will sign up for broadband.
ISP Nildram is to cut £7.50 per month off its USB ADSL broadband service from 1 September when BT Ignite's price reduction kicks in. Two other ISPs, Pipex Dial and Zen, have also said they will cut prices by £5 to around £45 per month at that time.
Nildram, which has around 700 ADSL customers, will now charge new and existing users £42.50 per month plus VAT. Iain Ogilvie, marketing manager at the company, told vnunet.com: "Broadband has to become more accessible to people. We've now got some economies of scale, so we've cut the price by £7.50 rather than £5 to try and grow the market."
But Ogilvie warned that prices are unlikely to come down much more this year. "I can't see the price falling further, as the market is very much dictated to by BT Wholesale," he said.
Nildram's customers are split roughly 50/50 between business and residential users, but the firm believes that BT's delay in introducing service level agreements (SLAs) has cost it additional business customers.
"The lack of SLAs is holding back adoption among business customers. For the most part our ADSL connections work well but sometimes the service can be up and down and this is a serious issue for businesses," said Ogilvie. "We want an SLA from BT so we can offer our business customers the guarantees they are asking for."
Currently, BT hopes to have its SLA terms defined later this month ready to implement in December. It claims that 179 resellers and ISPs have signed up for ADSL, translating into 70,000 ADSL end users in the UK today.
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