Feeds

No such thing as a free lunch

Free Net access not all it's cracked up to be

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) - which promotes the interests of ISPs in the UK - has warned that the current trend towards free Net access may be short-lived and that consumers need to be wary before signing up. Although there is strong evidence of a new economic model for ISP's being developed, there is no guarantee that free Net access will survive in the medium to long term, according to Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of ISPA. "It's a little simplistic to say that subscription-based Net access is dead and buried," he said. "I still think there will be a demand for a pay-for subscription market. "Price isn't everything. The quality of service, connection and technical support all need to be considered," he said. Lansman was speaking after yet more companies revealed they had followed Freeserve's lead and started offering free Net access. The mail order company, Software Warehouse, launched Softnet earlier this month and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) announced that it is offering free Net access to all of its 122,000 members in the UK. In addition, Callnet has joined ICL-backed VIP to join a growing number of companies offering brand-customised access. The apparent success of Freeserve -- which last week announced it had attracted 550,000 subscribers in less than three months -- appears to have prompted other service providers to jump on the bandwagon. While Freeserve has cut the cost of Net access in the UK, Lansman warns consumers not to jump in headfirst. "Consumers should be careful and read the small print before signing up to a new ISP. "They need to ask themselves, 'is it really free?' -- the money has to come from somewhere." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.