TalkTalk offers boosts to speed

TalkTalk is keen to offer new options for its customers

Internet service provider TalkTalk is offering customers the chance to sample super-fast broadband.
It is launching its myTalkTalk broadband package with a basic monthly price of £6.49 and a series of add-ons, including a speed boost of up to 24Mbps (megabits per second).
Other boosts include half-price mobile calls, an extra 40Gb (gigabytes) of downloads and cheaper fixed line calls.
The boosts can be activated at anytime and will cost £4 per month.
"People's communication needs are constantly changing and we need to provide a phone and broadband service that reflects this," said Wendy Becker, managing director of TalkTalk.
"Great value is still the number one priority - and myTalkTalk offers an identical 'pound-for-pound' to our existing broadband package - but choice and transparency are now high on the agenda," she said.
Alongside the speed boost, the bespoke service will also allow users to double their download limits from 40Gb to 80Gb on a monthly basis.
Money back
TalkTalk, which is the broadband arm of Carphone Warehouse, shook up the market in 2006 when it offered free broadband for customers who signed up to its landline service.
This new product is not as revolutionary, said Andrew Ferguson, editor of broadband comparison site ThinkBroadband.
"It's not as exciting as the first launch but it is a different way of approaching upgrading people to 24 megabits," he said.
Increasingly broadband firms are pushing the speeds of their ADSL products to their limits - around 24Mbps.
But, because the speed will vary depending on how far a customer lives from the telephone exchange, not everyone will be able to reach those speeds.
Mr Ferguson estimates that only 10-15% of people will get speeds approaching 24Mbps.
TalkTalk's £4 per month speed boost will come with a test so consumers can see what they are getting. If they aren't happy they can get their money back.
"It is good that TalkTalk is offering to refund people if they don't see a difference," said Mr Ferguson.
He thinks that as the economic crisis hits people's wallets they will shop around for better value broadband services.
"Consumers will be weighing up broadband costs in the same way as their electricity bill or their petrol consumption," he said.
Broadband measurement site broadbandchoices thinks a hardcore of consumers want even more simplicity.
"We would like to see service providers offering home phone and broadband packages that are truly stripped down to the 'bare bones' for users who only want a package for light usage," said Michael Phillips, head of broadbandchoices.
Research conducted by the group suggests that a large proportion of UK broadband users mainly use the internet for emailing, surfing and shopping - activities that do not require high speeds or download limits.
The myTalkTalk service will be available from 18 November.