UK broadband pricing in line with Europe

The report assesses broadband pricing for France, Germany, USA and Sweden as well as the UK.

It is one of a series of six-monthly “snapshot” reports from Oftel recording details of international broadband pricing and availability. The next set of data is due to be collected in August 2002, and reported in November this year.

A full set of data for the five countries was initially collected in February, but pricing details were amended in April to take account of the significant drop in BT Wholesale’s DSL pricing structure.

A spokesperson for Oftel said all other reported country’s broadband pricings were also re-checked at the same time to ensure no other significant changes had occurred.

Both the February 2002 and April 2002 pricing figures for the UK are included in the report.

After the price cut, the UK’s residential DSL packages offer similar bandwidth to France and Sweden at around 512 Kbps, but less capacity than German services, offering 768 Kbps.

US services offer a lower transfer rate at 256 Kbps. In terms of pricing, the UK is comparable with the US and Germany, but cheaper than France. Sweden is still the cheapest country in the report.

Business use also shows improved value for money after the BT DSL price decreases. For bandwidth of 512Kbps, prices in the UK (£98 per month) are lower than those in France (£120) and Germany (£121), but still significantly higher than Sweden (£36) and the US (£56).

Prior to the price reduction, UK costs were comparable with those of the most expensive countries.

According to the report there are now over 545,000 broadband connections in the UK, taking both cable modem and DSL into account.

Over 20,000 new connections are made each month.

A spokesman for BT said ‘we welcome the findings. Now that momentum is growing, everyone in this market needs to get behind broadband and increase marketing efforts. Broadband content providers will only begin to deliver when there is a justifiable market.?’

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