Internet provider BT Retail has today introduced “Totally Unlimited Broadband” on all but its entry level offerings, some of which were already supposed to be “unlimited” in the first place. The key difference appears to be a policy change and related products are now “free from traffic management” (e.g. P2P and video streaming restrictions).
The move forms part of a wider simplification surrounding how BT promotes and names its various broadband, phone and or TV bundles. As an added bonus BT has also introduced a new online storage service (BTCloud) that includes a free 2GB (GigaBytes) allowance for all consumer broadband customers (subscribers who take one of their top packages will get 50GB storage).
John Petter, MD of BT’s Consumer Division, said:
“We believe we have boosted our broadband offering by moving our best broadband deals to totally unlimited. Customers told us that they wanted to be able to enjoy catch-up TV, streamed films and other bandwidth-eating applications without having to worry about going over their limit or being slowed down by their ISP.
Mr Petter also took time out to have a crafty pop at rival Sky Broadband (BSkyB), “Unlike Sky, we’re extremely confident that our network can stand up to the extra bandwidth demands from totally unlimited products everywhere across the UK“. The remark likely stems from recent reports of congestion on Sky’s broadband network in certain parts of the country, though ironically this happens to almost all ISPs from time to time including BT.
As a result of today’s change it’s now possible to get a “totally unlimited usage” package from BT for just £16 a month (first six months free), while their superfast BTInfinity (FTTC) prices for a similar package now start at just £23 a month for the 38Mbps package and £26 if you want the top 76Mbps option.
Most of the related deals come with free evening and weekend calls, a free HomeHub 3 router, 18 month contract, unlimited BTWiFi access and a free connection. But you still have to pay BT’s Line Rental from the equivalent of £10.75 extra a month.
It’s easy to see why BT have made this move as most of their rivals, including sibling PlusNet, now offer similar “unlimited” packages and until now BT has struggled to keep pace. On the other hand the memory of ISPs warning that “unlimited” was an unsustainable model is still fresh in our mind from a few years ago. Indeed many BTWholesale based ISPs still sell capped usage products in order to keep their costs and quality of service under control.