BT has announced a range of unmetered Internet access plans. It intends to make them available
in Spring 2000, following OFTEL approval.
We knew that BT was considering a 'millennium present' - there were hints in our meetings with
BT - but we never expected such an early announcement.
As BT press releases can't be linked to we reproduce the whole thing here and beg BT's
BT is set to cut the cost of dial-up calls to the Internet with the introduction of BT SurfTime
- the widest choice of retail pricing options for unlimited Internet access. BT SurfTime will
apply both to consumers and small businesses in the UK. In a significant breakthrough, BT
SurfTime will change radically the way Internet access is charged, encouraging more people to
get on-line. It will also provide a further boost to businesses looking to take advantage of e-
BT SurfTime, subject to satisfactory agreement with OFTEL, will be available from Spring next
year - and will consist of a range of unlimited usage packages for a single monthly fee. They
will be aimed at both heavy and infrequent users of the Internet.
Customers of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offering subscription-based and/or 'pay-as-you-
go' free access services will be able to choose the pricing package that best suits their
surfing needs. Designed to expand the market overall - now growing at more than 100 per cent a
year - the BT SurfTime options will be:
Weekend Internet option - a £6.99 per month charge for unlimited access at the weekend plus any
applicable ISP subscription charge. On weekdays, customers will be charged at only one penny
per minute evening and night-time and two pence per minute during the day.
Evening and night-time Internet option - a £6.99 per month charge for unlimited access during
the evening and night-time, Monday to Friday, plus any applicable ISP subscription charge. At
weekends, customers will be charged at only one penny per minute and two pence per minute on
Daytime Internet option - a £26.99 per month charge for unlimited access during the day, Monday
to Friday, plus any applicable ISP subscription charge. Outside this period customers will be
charged at only one penny per minute.
Anytime Internet option - a £34.99 per month charge for unlimited access at anytime, day,
evening and night-time, and weekends, plus any applicable ISP subscription charge.
'pay-as-you-go' Internet option - Internet calls charge at one penny per minute evening, night-
time and weekend as well as two pence per minute during the day, plus any applicable ISP
subscription charge. In addition, ISPs charging a monthly fee can bill BT customers through
their BT account. This will be of particular benefit to new and existing ISPs, which do not
have the resource to create and run their own billing systems.
Bill Cockburn, group managing director of BT UK, said: 'BT SurfTime is the most significant
development for the Internet in the UK. It has been made possible through a major new network
investment in addition to the hundreds of millions of pounds we have already invested.'
'It is the first time we have been able to tailor packages and we believe it is a huge step
towards Internet for everyone while at the same time not disadvantaging those that use the
telephone in the traditional way.'
'Customers can be in full control of how much they spend on-line and use whichever ISP they
prefer. Existing users can save money, and new customers should no longer feel inhibited from
using the Internet for reasons of cost'. BT SurfTime will also be available to customers on
Home Highway and ISDN lines.
All prices include VAT.
The press release is clearly written - we always said unmetered access simplified things! -
but, obviously, there are many questions to ask. We will be asking them.