The price of ADSL is set to fall in the new year if commercial trials for "plug and play" broadband prove successful.
BT Wholesale is to start commercial trials in December with the view to launching a full service from January.
Not only would the new DIY service cut the price of installation charges, it could also see a cut in wholesale monthly fees for the single-user service.
Although BT engineers would still have to connect up a customer's phone line at the exchange, it would be up to ISPs or consumers to supply the equipment in the home or business. This can then just be plugged in by the consumer.
Currently, BT engineers have to install ADSL on a customer's premises.
Provisionally, BT reckons the wholesale installation cost (the bit at the exchange end) would fall from the current £150 to just £50.
The monthly wholesale cost for the single user service would also fall from £30 to £25 since the current fee includes the rental of a modem.
Said Bruce Stanford, BT's director of broadband: "By cutting out the need to send an engineer round to each customer's premises, we remove a large part of the installation process and so cut our costs.
"We will pass these savings on to our wholesale customers giving them scope to reduce their prices to the end customer," he said. ®