BT unshackles broadband packages and adds cloud services

UK incumbent telco BT has announced that, bar its entry-level deals, broadband packages will no longer have any usage limits or traffic management applied. The move applies upwards from its £16 a month upto 16Mbps copper-based ADSL package, and to its 38Mbps and 76Mbps FTTC offerings.

The move sees it throw down the gauntlet to rivals such as Virgin Media and TalkTalk, which are known for their complex and restrictive traffic management policies and means that BT’s fibre packages marketed as ‘Infinity’ finally live up to their billing. New customers will receive the new unlimited deals automatically, but existing customers will have to enter into a new 18-month contract.

John Petter, managing director of BT’s Consumer division, appears to have learned something new when he said in a statement that: “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.”

Recently Sky Broadband, which uses BT’s wholesale network, was forced to admit that high uptake of its services had caused widespread slowdown across its network. Petter boasted that BT was confident that it would not suffer the same fate. “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.”

As an incentive, BT is offering the unshackled ADSL package free for the first six months, while the Infinity package will cost just £9 a month for the same period of time.

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BT has also announced BT Cloud, an online storage locker available to customers on all of its consumer broadband packages. This will allow backup to the cloud of all smartphones, tablets and computers, even when away from the home. Content can then also be streamed to their mobile devices. Those on the top-tier 76MBps fibre or copper packages get up to 50GB to play with.

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