Wednesday 1st March 2006
BT has denied claims by a Sunday newspaper that it is planning to introduce free 'dial-up' broadband when it switches on its 21st Century Network (21CN) in 2008, a year earlier than planned.
The Mail on Sunday had claimed that a 'senior company source' within BT said that 21CN will provide for a broadband dialtone that will allow broadband users to connect simply by plugging into a phone line. This could remove the need for new users to cough up the �58 activation fee and would allow occasional Internet users - those who dial-up to check their email - to upgrade to broadband on a true pay-as-you-go basis and without the additional expense.
'The 21CN system will give customers a broadband dialtone - meaning broadband will be available just by plugging a computer in as part of basic line rental,' the newspaper claimed (via ISP Review).
But a BT spokesperson said that although such a service is possible it will certainly not be free, although it may be bundled with other services.
Posted: Monday, 27 February 2006, 08:44
Free broadband so says Mail On Sunday
The Mail On Sunday has been looking at the BT Groups 21CN plans, and what seems like great news in that BT will offer free broadband to all 20 million of its customers in a couple of years. See thisismoney.co.uk (warning does include adverts with sound).
Reading the article it appears that someone has latched onto the term broadband dial-tone, and interpreted this to mean free broadband, with people just paying extra for extra-fast downloads. We very much doubt this will be case, certainly a free service will leave no room in the market for competitors, and what is a healthy competitive service provider retail market would wither away. What we think was actually meant, is that once 21CN has rolled out, everyones telephone line will be connected to a MSAN, with the DSLAM providing both the PSTN voice service, and as a by product the availability of a DSL service. In effect everyones telephone line will be DSL enabled by default, which is where the free bit arises, i.e. there should be no need for an activation fee.