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Wanadoo UK punts 1Mb ADSL for £18

It's a 'basic right' apparently

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Wanadoo UK is doubling the speed of its broadband service offering punters the chance to hook-up to 1 Megabit (Mb) ADSL for £17.99 a month.

From tomorrow, new punters signing up to Wanadoo's broadband service will be able to get 1Mb ADSL broadband for £17.99 a month. Although the service has a 2GB monthly usage allowance, the ISP (formerly Freeserve) reckons this is more than sufficient for nine out of ten of its punters. Wanadoo also said it would not enforce the cap limits until early next year.

Even so, anyone busting the cap will be able to upgrade to its "Broadband for Above Average Usage" service, which provides a 6GB cap for £22.99 a month, or the "Heavy-usage Broadband" package with a 30GB cap at £27.99 a month. Punters whose phone line can't support a 1Mb service will be offered 512k instead.

While the offer might seem attractive for punters, it does mean that Wanadoo UK will "take a hit" on each connection and lose money. However, it reckons it's worth it to attract more broadband users. At the moment the ISP has around 375,000 broadband users and Wanadoo is prepared to carry a loss while it grows its customer base in the UK.

Looking ahead, it hopes that lower network costs will help it turn a profit. The company has made no secret that it is looking at its network options on both Datastream and local loop unbundling (LLU), which could help reduce costs in the future. Coupled with the fact that Wanadoo's mass market appeal is attracting a greater number of "light users", the ISP is confident that its cost base will fall over time making the numbers tally.

Said Wanadoo chief exec, Eric Abensur: "We are bringing 1Mb to everybody who is able to receive it at an affordable price. We believe 1Mb is a basic right for all Internet users, so everyone can enjoy the benefits of faster browsing and downloading, higher quality sound and video, and the enhanced online experience that 1Mb Broadband provides.

"We always said we wanted to open up the UK Internet market. This offer shows how much we really mean business, and we look forward to making more exciting Broadband announcements [including Voice over IP (VoIP) Internet telephony service and Video on Demand] over the coming months." ®

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