Feeds

Freeserve to hit one million accounts soon

Excitement may be short-lived

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Whether you love it or loathe it, it's impossible to ignore the Freeserve phenomenon that in just 16 weeks has turned the UK ISP market on its head. Today, Dixons -- the company behind the free Net access service -- said that it now had 900,000 customers, making it the world's fastest-growing ISP. But as quickly as some parts of the country have been covered in a thick covering of overnight snow, so too might Freeserve's dominance thaw and melt away into nothing. In February, telecoms watchdog OFTEL will publish a consultation document on Number Translation Service (NTS) and ask for comments from the industry on whether this should be revised. Officials at OFTEL are keeping mum about any proposals they have but you can guarantee that Freeserve -- and all the other companies involved in providing "free" Net access -- are waiting anxiously for it to come out. Put simply, OFTEL could end up revising the pricing structure that is being used to fund these "free" services. If that happens, and the revision is significant enough, then the charging infrastructure used by free ISPs could collapse -- and so could Freeserve. Either way, every dog must have its day and Freeserve isn't going to let this minor detail spoil the party. Even when it admitted that only 700,000 accounts (of the 900,000) were active, it still makes it the UK's number one service -- something that must make executives at AOL purple with rage. The company added that, on average, 8,000 people joined its service each day -- 40 per cent of whom were new to the Net. And in a thinly veiled attempt to silence critics who maintain that Dixons is making money out of the £1 a minute charge for technical support calls, it claims that it saves consumers on average £150 a year by providing the free service. Now, how can anybody not fail to be impressed by that? ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?