BT slashes wholesale DSL costs

Major move by telco

BT has slashed the cost of wholesale DSL and promised to improve the availability of broadband.

In an announcement this morning, BT CEO Ben Verwaayen kept his promise to make "substantial" cuts to the cost of wholesale DSL and signalled a shift in strategy for the telco.

From April 1 the cost of wholesale DSL will fall from £25 to just £14.75 a month.

This means that end users could expect to see retail prices fall to under £30 a month.

BT said it hopes the move will deliver a million DSL broadband connections by summer 2003.

In a statement Ben Verwaayen said: "Broadband is the future for Britain and we're putting it at the heart of BT's plans for growth in the UK mass market.

"This will drive the whole market forward by making broadband affordable, attractive and accessible," he said.

BT has also pledged to improve the performance of its DSL network and its service quality.

It also plans to stimulate demand by working with 40 service providers to market broadband.

And in a bid to address the issue of supply, it plans to work with different public and private sector partners to extend broadband to less commercially viable areas.

Said Mr Verwaayen: "This is a stretching programme, but achievable. Through substantial reductions in the cost of providing service we can set prices that will stimulate the market strongly, and make money on it. This is a sustainable business model."

BT claims it has now delivered what people have been crying out for – affordable broadband access, an improvement to the service and the promise of extending the roll-out of broadband once it’s proven to be commercially viable.

Industry insiders have welcomed the move but have reserved full judgement until they see the details of BT’s plans. ®

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