BT trims broadband costs

Good, but not good enough say rivals

BT has slashed the wholesale migration costs of its DSL services following a complaint by rivals Thus and Tiscali.

That complaint - which was investigated by regulator Ofcom - centred on the cost of migrating punters between BT IPStream and BT DataStream. However, the UK's dominant fixed line telco has gone one step further and reduced migration costs across the board.

From 1 May, migration prices will fall to £11 per user, down from £35 for switching punters from one BT IPStream provider to another, and down from £50 for moving a customer between BT IPStream to BT DataStream.

BT also plans to introduce an automated migration process later this year to make it easier and quicker for end users to switch providers and products.

Ofcom head honcho, Stephen Carter said: "Migration charges can be an obstacle to fair competition. At this price, with robust processes, they should no longer be such an obstacle."

Mary Turner, chief exec of Tiscali UK added: "We are pleased with the outcome of today's announcement. The new £11 migration charge is in line with the figures that Tiscali has given to Ofcom and the Trade & Industry Select Committee Enquiry in recent months."

But she said that the price was "only the first hurdle" and is now looking for similar cost cutting for DSL activation, "which is still far too high at £50".

John Pluthero, boss of alternative telco Energis, chipped in: "We've been calling for the migration charge for broadband to be set at a realistic level for a long time. This is a step in the right direction towards wholesale broadband competition - but there is still a long way to go." ®

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