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Cheap broadband specialist TalkTalk is raising the stakes for broadband providers this month with the launch of a slew of eye-catching incentives, offering everything from cut-price phone calls to a cost reduction for its enhanced online security service.

TalkTalk’s broadband packages differ from those of rivals in the respect that customers can choose a basic home phone and home broadband deal and add optional extra services, dubbed Boosts, for an additional charge. This is intended to simplify the terms of the offers and make charges more transparent. The Boost system also offers greater flexibility and enables consumers to only pay for services they use.

This month sees the addition of a new Boost for International Calls priced £2 per month. Aimed at people with friends and family living abroad, the add-on entitles takers to unlimited anytime calls to 36 international destinations. TalkTalk claims that the Boost offers savings of up £387 over 18 months for customers who frequently call overseas.

Additionally, the broadband supplier has halved the cost of its award-winning anti-virus protection. Free for the first 20 days, and priced at £2 per month thereafter, the Super Secure Boost offers protection for up to three PCs.

Changes are also being implemented to TalkTalk's entry-level Essentials package, which will now offer all cuustomers free 0845 and 0870 calls at evenings and weekends. This is alongside free local calls which were already included for Essentials customers.

Jessica McArdle, marketing manager at Top 10 Broadband, said: “TalkTalk continues to offer excellent value to those who want to make international calls and need additional internet security. And let’s face it, neither of these should be premium services these days."

News of TalkTalk’s efforts to sweeten the appeal of its broadband offers comes after it recently acquired rival internet service provider Tiscali for £236 million. The deal will see the Carphone Warehouse subsidiary swell its customer base to some 4.8 million.

The company has pledged to honour the contracts of former-Tiscali customers and has moved to reassure them that their service will be uninterrupted.

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