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Orange confirms 'free' broadband giveaway

That'll be £30 please

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Orange has confirmed it will give "free" broadband to its mobile phone subscribers, ending weeks of hype and speculation.

The France Telecom-owned cellco's offer is part of a massive rebranding exercise that sees Wanadoo tossed to one side and the ISP business renamed Orange.

Or, as the firm puts it: "Orange today achieves a historic milestone in UK communications, uniting mobile, fixed-line and broadband under one brand for both consumers and businesses, offering a one-stop-shop solution that will radically simplify how we communicate."

The headline grabbing part of this converged comms provider is the offer of "free broadband" for customers who spend at least £30 a month on an Orange mobile contract. While there is no connection fee, customers still need to shell out around a tenner a month for line rental. There's also a 2 gig a month cap for the service and punters are tied into an 18 month contract.

However, the offer does come complete with a wireless router and Orange's rebranded VoIP package. For an extra £6 a month, customers can sign up to the new Orange Anytime package which gives them free calls to UK landlines.

The new package is available from tomorrow, 1 June, the day the Wanadoo brand is being resprayed Orange.

Orange chief exec Sanjiv Ahuja said: "We're pioneering a new future in telecommunications as we become the only company in the UK to combine broadband, fixedline and mobile communications simply, efficiently and seamlessly under a single brand. One brand, under one roof that speaks with one voice about total communications."

Six weeks ago, The Carphone Warehouse released details of its "free broadband forever" product - a bundled broadband and phone service that is half the price of its nearest rival.

To take up the offer, customers must subscribe to Carphone's TalkTalk fixed line phone service. For £9.99 a month, punters get unlimited local and national landline calls, unlimited international landline calls to 28 countries and up to 8 meg broadband access.

In addition to the monthly fee, customers are also faced with paying a monthly line rental charge of £11.00. The total cost of line rental, calls and broadband is £20.99 per month. ®

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