Budget ISP PlusNet has submitted a complaint to Oftel about the number of low-cost broadband service providers, demanding the watchdog orders ISPs to reduce costs.

PlusNet today launched its third low-cost broadband package, EasyStart, an all-in-one package providing users with a plug-in modem, line activation and high-speed access for £24.99 per month. To put that into perspective, PlusNet's main rivals, including BT, charge an average of £27.99 a month.

"Oftel seems interested in the agendas of big-brand ISPs and [is] not delivering on driving value as a result. There are a number of ISPs that are successfully delivering a much better quality of service, customer experience and price from the same level playing field as BT Wholesale's ADSL platform," said a PlusNet spokesperson.

But the move seems contradict earlier statements by companies such as Freeserve and NTL which have complained that ISPs are struggling to meet the prices offered by low-cost rivals such as PlusNet and FairADSL.

PlusNet points to ADSLGuide's monthly service reports which show low-cost providers scoring highly on service levels without compromising the financial performance of the business.

The company also offers a no-frills ADSL package for £19.99 per month and a standard package for £21.99 a month, both of which require users to fork out for installation and activation.

The 10 fastest broadband ISPs for last month were:

Rank ISP Downstream Upstream
1 Eclipse Internet 457.2 Kbps 240.8Kbps
2 Nildram 453.0 Kbps 235.7Kbps
3 Pipex 443.3 Kbps 238.4Kbps
4 PlusNet 441.8 Kbps 234.8Kbps
5 Zen Internet 441.7 Kbps 226.0Kbps
6 Freedom2surf 439.5 Kbps 233.5Kbps
7 BT Broadband 436.5 Kbps 228.8Kbps
8 BT Openworld 435.6 Kbps 226.5Kbps
9 Virgin.net 435.4 Kbps 234.5Kbps
10 Demon 433.5 Kbps 225.7Kbps

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