BT has announced that its dial-up internet service will be closed on Sunday 1st September. The telecoms firm reassured existing customers that they would not be worse off and would be able to subscribe either to broadband or switch to PlusNet which still offers 'narrowband'.
Customers being booted off BT's narrowband have a range of positive choices available to them. Perhaps inertia had caused them to remain on BT dial-up for so long, forking out £17.25 per month for the service. BT suggests its own broadband service will be available to many of these customers, priced from £10 per month, whilst offering a better internet experience. However for those in remote areas, where there is no broadband reach nor mobile alternative, BT suggests the PlusNet narrowband service would be a suitable, and £2.26 per month cheaper, alternative.
A BT spokesman said "This is a legacy product that is only used by a tiny number of customers, most of whom can easily transfer on to broadband for a cheaper price. Our estimate is that only 1,000 of the current customers will be unable to access broadband following the change but they will continue to have dial-up access via PlusNet should they choose to, once again for a cheaper price." He asserted that "No one is being left without the option of an alternative service".
BT dial-up users have to act fast though as, on Sunday, if they haven't already migrated, they will simply be cut off. BT has sent emails out to all affected customers, if the email was not opened a letter has followed. Current dial-up customer email addresses can be linked to BT Broadband accounts free of charge, others can purchase a BT Premium Mail subscription for £1.60 per month for use with other ISPs.
BT is currently rolling out broadband services to comply with the Broadband Delivery UK initiative. This scheme aims to provide super-fast broadband services to at least 95 per cent of premises and universal access to 2Mbps broadband by the end of 2017.
Meanwhile in the USA, internet service provider AOL still has 2.8 million dial-up internet subscribers, as of February this year.