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PlusNet throws strop at BT cheapest broadband claim

'We're miffed'

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Sheffield-based ISP Plusnet has blasted BT for misleading punters over the cost of its new "no frills" basic service.

BT Openworld boss Duncan Ingram was asked on a BBC radio show yesterday: "This [BT Broadband Basic] isn't going to make you the cheapest is it?"

Mr Ingram replied: "It's certainly going to make us the cheapest for a full broadband experience, which is ten times faster. Quite a lot of all the other lower-priced services you talk to, are offering perhaps at best double normal dial-up, or perhaps two or three times."

However, the remark has angered PlusNet, which has got the hump over Mr Ingram's assertion that the launch of BT Broadband Basic "makes us [BT] the cheapest for a full broadband experience".

The ISP, with more than 50,000 broadband punters, has already pointed out that it has been offering a full, uncapped 512k service for the last 20 months. And at £18.99 a month with up-front costs of £59.99, it is considerably cheaper than BT's basic service.

Marco Potesta, PlusNet's marketing director, said: "We're miffed that they are ignoring us in the competitive landscape. We want BT to acknowledge that there are viable alternatives to its basic service."

A BT spokesman declined to comment when asked to clarify Ingram's claims.

BT launched its no-frills, capped, strings-attached basic product yesterday. The headline figure of £19.99 a month grabbed the spotlight, but it didn't take long before rivals turned on BT by claiming it is misleading punters.

With up-front costs of £80, the service is more expensive than full 512k services from many ISPs.

One industry insider told us: " Consumers may not find this very compelling once they look beyond the headline monthly price, particularly as it lacks the free firewall, anti-virus, features and content offered by some other providers." ®

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