BT has attacked the pricing of Virgin Media's 100Mbit/s broadband packages less than 24 hours after they were announced, as the battle between ISPs to roll out high-speed internet throughout the UK continues.
Virgin Media is taking pre-orders for 100Mbit/s packages starting at £35 for customers who purchase a bundle of services, or £45 for those opting just for broadband.
BT said in a statement that all superfast broadband is good for the UK, but questioned Virgin Media's pricing for the service.
"BT is already rolling out fibre broadband to approximately 17 million homes and businesses, and it is good for UK plc that there will be another high-speed network, albeit one that is isn't open to other companies in the way BT's is," the statement said.
"Take up is as important as availability, however, and we would question why Virgin is charging such a premium. Its new service is more than twice the price of BT's fibre product, so we are surprised by the high price when most family budgets are tight."
Rob Bamforth, principal analyst at Quocirca, maintained that sniping between the two companies does neither any favours, and that BT can be criticised for many things, including the speed with which it opened up its network assets.
"The key for business and individual broadband users is that there is competition between significant carriers with national infrastructure," he said.
"Take up and price are both important, but vary based on the ebb and flow of the market, and availability claims must be checked for their reach."
Bamforth added that businesses are becoming more distributed, and need high-speed connections everywhere.
"The reality for many in remote or rural locations will be a much slower experience, he said.
BT was recently forced by Ofcom to give other ISPs access to its fibre network, underground ducts and telegraph poles to help drive the deployment of superfast broadband.
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