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Has NTL gone soft on 1Gb cap?

'Don't see the need now to impose a rigid cap'

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There's speculation that NTL has softened the stand on its 1Gb a cap for its broadband users.

In a conference call earlier this week NTL boss Barclay Knapp was asked whether the cableco had seen an improvement in its network performance following the introduction of the cap in February.

Here's what he said: "In terms of broadband, we did get a lot of...er...I made a lot of friends with a lot of our high users in the sense that they felt free to email me directly about this 1 Gigabyte cap and I emailed them back.

"I think significantly it was a guideline. We used it to contact customers who were doing a lot of filesharing and peer to peer in the busy periods and
we politely asked them to not do that and we have seen a shift in usage and that's done two things. It has improved the overall level of service and it's actually reduced the capital spending going forward."

Crucially he then says: "We don't see the need now to impose a rigid cap in the sense that we don't turn anybody 'off' and we haven't raised prices on anybody."

What was it he said? "We don't see the need now to impose a rigid cap..."

AntiCap, the Internet lobby group committed to campaigning for unlimited broadband services, believes NTL should formally lift the cap and admit it was wrong to do so in the first place.

A spokesman for AntiCap told El Reg: "According to the [latest figures] broadband is one of NTL's most profitable services and margin continues to improve.

"NTL haven't been able to come up with a single case of someone over using the service and yet have disenfranchised many thousands of customers. Either they got their numbers wrong or the cap...was a move to reduce usage and boost revenue.

"The honourable thing would be for NTL to apologise for offending so many customers and to remove any reference to usage limits/guidelines from their 'User Policy'." ®

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