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Carphone Reveals "FREE" Broadband
By: MarkJ - 11 April, 2006 (9:07 AM)

The Carphone Warehouse has finally revealed itís much publicised "free broadband forever" (LLU based) product. The package itself isn't technically free, yet at £20.99 per month (including line rental) it's not a bad deal either:

For a monthly fee of £9.99, TalkTalk customers will receive:

* Unlimited local and national landline calls, 24 hours a day

* Unlimited international landline calls to 28 countries, 24 hours a day

* Up to 8 Mbps broadband access

This offer is available from today to all customers in all 1,000 exchange areas, covering nearly 70% of the UK population. If the local exchange has not yet been unbundled, the customer will initially be connected via BTís wholesale IP Stream service, and then migrated at a later date at no extra cost to them. The first customers will go live from the beginning of July 2006.

In addition to the monthly fee, all customers will pay the standard monthly line rental charge of £11.00.

To support this strategy and to generate a more rapid payback on our investment, we intend to deploy our exchange infrastructure as quickly as possible. Based on current forecasts, we expect to reach our initial target of 1,000 exchanges by May 2007. In addition, we will invest substantially in marketing and customer acquisition.

The promotion neglects to mention a £29.99 connection fee and accompanying 18 month contract (ouch!). We had feared that such a service would be heavily capped, yet thankfully CW has opted for a 40GB per month allowance.

Overall the package is excellent value for money, provided you can stomach its 18 month contract. The same broadband package by itself costs £35 per month, which is expensive and designed to make you take the cheaper option.

Sadly CW does not have the same obligation as BT to increase its LLU coverage outside of the more populous exchanges; hence this product is most likely to exclude those outside of big towns and cities.

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