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BT rolls out new, 'competitive' consumer deals

That's competitive as in really expensive

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UK infrastructure owner BT has today announced its new consumer bundle offerings following relaxation of Ofcom competition rules. The headlining £7.99-a-month anytime calls plus broadband is reasonable - but lasts for only 3 months, followed by a 15-month lock-in at an unimpressive £15.99.

“Offering a bundle of broadband and Anytime calls for this knockdown price will launch us into the bundles market as an unrestricted competitor for the first time," says BT consumer honcho John Petter.

"There will be many more bundled offers to come and customers can only benefit.”

Or they can provided they don't lock themselves into an 18-month contract with BT, anyway. Oh, and there's a 10 GB monthly download cap on that £7.99/£15.99 plan as well, so forget about watching a lot of video.

If you want to be able to use iPlayer or other online video/film services, you'll need the "BT Talk and Surf Unlimited" deal at £19.99 for the first three months and then a brutal £27.99 for the next 15.

All these deals require line rental as well, at £11.54 per month. True, all the broadband offered here is potentially very fast - "up to 20 megabit/sec" - but many customers' lines just aren't capable of carrying a DSL connection anything like as fast as that*, so buyer beware. And it isn't as though most users need such speeds either.

For most customers staying with a BT line, shopping around for a non-BT carrier preselect voice provider and non-BT ISP will definitely bring you in good, "unlimited" (enough for streaming video, anyway) broadband plus whatever voice package you need for well under BT's £27.99/month.

If this is the UK telecoms monolith's idea of aggressive price competition, its rivals can probably relax. ®

*It's usually possible to find out how fast your DSL connection actually is by investigating your router's interface pages. No matter how your ISP tries, it can't beat that number, so don't pay for more than you can receive.

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