BT has launched a broadband plan that it reckons is the cheapest on the market, by up to £126. Sign up to the BT home-broadband package and you'll get a USB dongle for browsing CNET UK's legendary gadget reviews while aht and abaht.
The BT Total Broadband packages offer up to 8Mbps wireless broadband at home, as well as 1GB of mobile broadband each month. The BT dongle will cost you £50, while Orange, O2 and Virgin don't charge for theirs, but BT's mobile 1GB is free, while the others charge between £5 and £15. Sounds like swings and roundabouts to us, but BT has done the math and reckons that, at around £308 over 18 months, its offering is the cheapest.
On BT, that's £7.78 for the first three months and £15.65 thereafter. Then, after five and a fifth months, the rate changes again, depending on whether the month has an 'o' in it. Also at that point, your computer is hidden somewhere in your home and BT will only tell you where it is if you complete a multiple-choice question, after which the rate stays the same until the tenth month or the fifth Friday of Michaelmas -- whichever is sooner -- whereupon the rate drops to eleventy-plank per cent of the GDP of Ecuador, with a one-off payment of your first-born's immortal soul.
Alright, we made some of that up but, come on, do broadband price plans have to be so head-hurty? Anyway, you can buy the dongle on its own for £130 upfront, after which you pay nowt for 18 months. That's £7 per month as long as you stick to the limit -- 1GB is pretty stingy, but, if you're using the dongle just as an occasional on-the-hoof backup to your home connection and you can stay away from extended Facebook sessions while in the pub/park/public baths, it's an okay deal.
The USB modem has a nifty fold-out design and could hit speeds of up to 7.2Mbps over the HSDPA network, depending on where you are. In the Fairy Kingdom of Fictional Broadband Speeds, we presume. It will also work over 3G if your unicorn's struggling to get reception. As yet, the dongle is Windows-only, but a Mac version is on the way.