The broadband internet access industry seems set for a price war, as the industry heads for consolidation.

Signs of such consolidation have been clear, with NTL and Telewest merging, numerous takeovers between ISPs, and ever-increasing battles between telecoms firms.

Carphone Warehouse this week launched its £20.99/month new TalkTalk combined broadband and landline phone service, which is available to 70 per cent of the UK population. Talk Talk users get unlimited local and national landline calls; unlimited international landline calls to 28 countries; and broadband access.

Ultimately, the broadband battle seems set to centre on price.

Setting the scene, broadband access provider NewNet today announced its new phone and broadband package, which means users can obtain a broadband service for just £4.95 (including VAT) each month - but there's a major catch.

The bill paid depends on the number of fixed line telephone calls a customer makes. The cost of the broadband service is reduced by £1 for every £10 spent on calls. "To qualify for £4.95 Broadband, customers must spend £70 on phone calls with NewNet per month," the company said.
There is a one-off setup fee of £4.95 but no monthly fixed charge and all call charges are less than standard BT rates.