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BT is running broadband price promos for small business and consumer customers.

The SME gig sees BT slash installation and activation prices by up to £260 until September 30. The full line up of deals is here.

The consumer deal is one month's free line rental (worth £29.99 with BT OpenWorld and £28 with BT Broadband). The offer runs until the end of September.
The telco is waving an extra £10 discount for new customers ordering Home 500 Plug & Go online from the BT Openworld website during July 2003.

Pierre Danon, chief executive of BT Retail, said: "Now that there are 1 million broadband customers using BT ADSL, we need to ensure that we keep the momentum going. Broadband is revolutionising the way that people use the net, both at home and at work, and our job is to make the service as compelling and as cost-effective an option as possible."

Which is nice for the punters, if not for competing ISPs. Alone among the former national carriers in the major European countries, BT failed to claim first place in the ISP stakes when the Internet first came along. Or second, or third for that matter. The company's wholesale division dragged its heels on equipping local exchanges for ADSL, understandably, while it figured out a way of making it pay.

The margins available to ISPs to resell ADSL are so low, that the likes of Freeserve and AOL have been very slow in promoting broadband. BT, on the other hand, has seen its ISP market share rise substantially, thanks to ADSL. This is why other ISPs have cried foul over alleged abuse of BT's market position (and not over favourable terms granted by BT wholesale to BT's retail operations as we wrote earlier).

Freeserve last year complained to Oftel, BT Wholesale of abusing its dominant position through cross-subsidy, discrimination and predatory pricing. Oftel dismissed the complaint.

This year the ISP industry was in uproar over BT Wholesale price cuts which were not passed on to its Datastream service. They argued that the failure to cut the wholesale cost of the Datastream product amounted to a "margin squeeze" and accused the dominant telco of "anti-competitive" behaviour. BT Wholesale backed down. ®

Related stories

BT backtracks on broadband pricing cuts
Freeserve in legal fight against Oftel

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