BT has reduced the price of its basic broadband package to £17.99 a month, perhaps reflecting the competitive pressure in the UK's broadband sector.

Net 4 Nowt reports that BT Openworld MD Duncan Ingram said: "The announcement proves our commitment to delivering the best possible value broadband to our customers and to as wide an audience as possible."

BT's Broadband Basic customers are offered a 512Kbps service with a free modem and no activation fee.

"BT is now extremely hard to beat in terms of combined service and value. For example, BT Broadband Basic is now cheaper than a number of our major rivals and extremely competitive against other entry level broadband products," Ingram added.

Broadband gap narrows

However, Webuser points out: "Rival Wanadoo offers a 1Mbps service for £17.99 a month with free modem and connection and a 2GB download allowance, while offers a 1Mbps product at just £14.99 with a 1GB allowance, although you need a modem and activation is £58.75.

" has also recently launched a 512Kbps product at £17.99 a month with 3GB of allowance and a £19.99 activation fee."

Ingram emphasised the move as a step towards total broadband coverage. He said: "Today’s price cut and our recent announcement to extend broadband coverage to 99.6 per cent of the UK by August 2005, shows BT’s commitment to bringing broadband technology within reach of even more UK consumers, helping us play our part in making Broadband Britain a reality."