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e-business: High bandwidth means high price for the British.

UK homeowners are paying more for high bandwidth services than users in the US, Germany or France, according to new figures from Oftel.

Its latest survey, which takes in domestic DSL and cable modem high bandwidth services, shows that in the UK the monthly charge is around pounds 40, compared with pounds 37 in France, pounds 31 in Germany and pounds 32 in the US.

The results for business were mixed - although generally the UK is ahead of France, but behind Germany and the USA in terms of price and variety of services on offer.

David Edmonds, director general of communications, said: 'Oftel carries out regular benchmarking surveys to see how prices in the UK compare to other countries.

'This is the first time that it has been possible to compare retail prices for high bandwidth services in the UK with prices elsewhere.

'While the survey shows that UK prices were somewhat less favourable compared to other countries surveyed, DSL and cable modem services in the UK are still at an early stage of rollout and takeup.'

Mr Edmonds added: 'Since October 2000 some cable modem services have become available to UK users at prices below the average reported in the survey.

'BT's wholesale ADSL services are now available at 619 exchanges covering 40 per cent of homes and businesses. Over 40 UK service providers now offer high speed services using BT's wholesale pack.

'Prices should fall lower as competition and choice for broadband services continues to grow.

'Local loop unbundling will provide further competition. The first trials of unbundled local loops providing DSL services are now operational and after much hard work by the industry, BT and Oftel, more unbundled loops will be available.'
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 13, 2001
Words:285
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