BTopenworld prices to rise?
Freeserve say "sod it" and increase theirs, BT to follow suit?
BT's ADSL service openworld is shuffling its feet today and admitting that it might have plans to increase the price of its consumer broadband package. Speaking yesterday Freeserve told reporters that it intends to increase the price on its consumer broadband package by £10 because it's sick of subsidising customers in the hope of ADSL hitting the mainstream. At the moment, most companies are using the £49.99 per month subscription service, but Freeserve and BT have managed to stick to a £39.99 tag up to now. Speaking to the FT, openworld's Andy Green said that the company is "looking very seriously at the appropriate prices and products for different segments of the market". Translated we reckon that means Freeserve have a point, even if their approach was someone tactless. Freeserve have apparently subsidised customers at a cost of £180 per head under the £39.99 plan, and with no change in sight, they intend to move to £49.99, presumably plus VAT, since 12x £10 doth not make £180. If the cost is being felt by all ISPs involved with the ADSL service, we're surprised that it took openworld this long. With 27,000 customers it has the largest ADSL userbase in the country. That said, the ADSL wholesaler is BT Ignite, so who knows who's paying whom and what. Freeserve bosses called for a big drop in wholesale prices yesterday. At £15, they reckon, consumer ADSL will be an option worth exploring for the mainstream.