Friday, October 29, 2004

Belgacom giveth, and Belgacom taketh away

Belgacom launched VDSL today in a number of cities - 9Mbps down/400kbps up, for EUR59.95. This looks way steep, considering that next door in France customers of Free can get 15Mbps for EUR29.99 (including TV and voice), so poor Belgacom subscribers pay 3.3x as much per plain vanilla megabit. The Belgacom package is also capped at 15GB per month. Anyone doing anything halfway serious in terms of bandwidth consumption is going to hit this pretty quickly. Strange to see such retrograde pricing in a market which is already more highly penetrated than France, with serious cable modem competition (something France still lacks at present), but this is probably a stop-gap measure in a transition technology while the FTTH project proceeds. It certainly doesn't look priced for success on a long-term basis. Coincidentally, EUR59.95 is a good rough benchmark for Europe generally in terms of current monthly spend for PSTN plus mid-level DSL/cable broadband package. Maybe it is actually setting a reference price for future fiber offerings ? (

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