ISPreview - BTOpenworld Internet - Part 1

ISP Review interviews Duncan Ingram (Senior VP) BTOpenworld

BTOpenworld Interview - Part 1
By Mark Jackson : November 23rd 2001 : Page 2 of 3

"It does not block any ports at the current time, but does impose limits on speed to maintain a good service"


4) Now that BTOpenworld has opted to pull away from its portal system to concentrate on primary services, what kind of impact/improvement/changes do you envisage this having?

Over the last few months the BTopenworld team has spent a lot of time listening to customers about what you want to use the Internet for. The feedback we received revealed that you want us to provide you with higher quality access, easier navigation, less clutter and excellent customer service.

To meet these customer needs, it became clear that we needed to completely rethink the way our site worked. We wanted to make it easier for you to find the tools you want most from us - including your email and our search engines. Instead of burying these tools two or three clicks away, they sit prominently on what we call your launch page - the page you use to launch into exploring the World Wide Web, as most of you want to do.

We have also made it easy for you to personalise your launch page. As well as your personal email account waiting for you as soon as you enter your password, you can also add the Internet content most relevant to you. So, if you're a sports fan, you might include the latest sports news or links to sites like Sportal.com or cricinfo.com to make it easy to go straight to where you want to go online.

5) We would like to know your opinions on when you think the UK is likely to catch up with countries such as the USA in terms of xDSL speed and pricing?

With regards to speed, this depends on technological advancements such as VDSL. However, 2mb is possible in the UK here, so we're not really behind the USA.

Regarding price, everyone has an interest in this falling - this includes ISPs, government and wholesalers. BTopenworld has contributed to this through its half price installation offer (BTopenworld being the only UK ISP to do this). It is also the cheapest consumer 500k product in the UK at £39.99 per month.

New products such as G.DMT (wires only) should see prices fall in the near future. Furthermore, while basic entry prices in the US appear to be lower users tend to get less for their money.

6) We would like to know if BTO's broadband home service blocks any ports?

BTopenworld manages its network in the interest of customers. It does not block any ports at the current time, but does impose limits on speed to maintain a good service for the majority of customers.

7) There's an increasing push toward the adoption of broadband services in the UK, yet systems such as ISDN (Home Highway) tend to get left behind. Recently official documents leaked from inside your parent company, BT, have suggested a general reduction in the ISDN charge to £20 per month. What are your opinions on how the situation with older technologies such as this should be dealt with now that broadband is taking hold?

ISDN charges users per minute (twice for 128k bonded), therefore, by comparison ADSL it doesn't represent good value for money for heavy users. However, since ISDN is a BT rather than a BTopenworld product, it is for BT to decide on future pricing for the service. For the business user, switching to broadband makes good business sense. In saved call charges alone a business should get its money back within six months.

For example, a low Internet user (60 hours a month internet surfing time on ISDN2e) would have an annual bill of £1759.20 based on an Internet call charge of £2.01 per hour. This would fall to 599.88 with BTopenworld business 500 with fixed IP - thereby saving him £1159.32. This excludes the one-off installation fee, where BTopenworld will save users a further £49.

The savings would increase with medium usage and a high user (120 hours a month internet surfing time on ISDN2e) would have an annual bill of £3206.40. This would again fall to £599.88 with BTopenworld business 500 with fixed IP - thereby saving him £2606.52.

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