BT Wholesale has confirmed moves to bring down the price of its ADSL broadband service to near cable levels, in an effort to boost the chances of UK broadband adoption in the New Year.
Following trials started earlier this month, BT will launch a mass-market self-install broadband ADSL service on 15 January. Instead of paying for a BT engineer, users will be provided with equipment to connect their own line.
The wholesale price of the service will be £25 per month, a £5 reduction. Cable's retail price is around £25.
BT also said that, in theory, it will be easier for customers to shop around and switch providers as it has slashed the minimum term contracts internet service providers (ISPs) must take out to just one month, instead of a year.
But it is not yet clear whether ISPs will pass on the entire benefit of this reduced notice period to the consumer.
Connection fees have been cut to £50, although users may still have to pay around £10 each for every micro filter they need to protect each extension from interference.
Self-installed ADSL has proved very successful on the continent, where substantially more ADSL is in use. Deutsche Telekom reported last month that 90 per cent of its 1.2 million ADSL lines had been self-installed.
BT Wholesale has over 100,000 subscribers through more than 100 service providers, including BTopenworld.
Bruce Stanford, BT's director of broadband, said in a statement: "We are delighted at the success of the trials currently running, and at being able to bring this important new product to mass-market so quickly.
"Evidence from other countries shows that self-install gives a huge boost to demand for broadband ADSL services, not just by cutting wholesale prices but by making installation for the customer as easy as setting up a video recorder, and with no need to wait in for an engineer."
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