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 Friday, February 15, 2008

Belgacom, the incumbent and leading internet access provider in Belgium has decided to say good bye to dial-up. The operator will stop marketing the service from 31 January 2008.

With ADSL now available to 99.7% of the Belgian population and subscription prices continuing to fall there seem few reasons to stick with narrowband.  25% of the population will have a broadband subscription by the end of 2007.

However Belgian ISPs are facing similar issues to those in the UK.  To keep growing their subscriber base they need to capture new customers, but as the pool of offline users dwindles the pot of dial-up users becomes incresaingly important. 

A traditional way to gain new broadband users is to compete on price, to this end Belgacom launched a new service in December last year, the ‘ADSL Budget’ service comes in at €20/month.

The ‘ADSL Time’ package, launched at the same time, charges €0.043/minute at peak times, plus a connection charge of €0.25.  Dial-up usage patterns are usually patchy and relatively light and the pay as you go model of ‘ADSL Time’ looks to allow users access to broadband speeds without the burden of paying for an always on connection.

The hope, and perhaps the irony, is that dial-up will be laid to rest by broadband, but only by replicating the usage patterns of its ancestor.

Source: Point Topic.