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ISP launches toll-free Net access for the sleepless

X-Stream service only available from 12am to 2am, Monday to Thursday

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The X-Stream Network, which offered toll-free 0800 Internet access last month, helping it to attract an extra 65,000 new subscribers, has decided to extend the scheme indefinitely. Unfortunately, the new tariff-free scheme appears to be aimed at insomniacs who are happy to log onto the Net during the hours of midnight and 2.00am between Monday and Thursday. Although any movement towards cutting the cost of Net access is to be welcomed, the restrictions and antisocial hours of X-Stream's latest offer appear to outweigh any real benefit for average users. This latest promotion comes hot on the heels of X-Stream's March initiative when it offered an 0800 freephone number during weekends for people to access the Net. Although branded nothing more than publicity stunt by some critics, X-Stream is cock-a-hoop at its success. In one seven-day period alone the X-Stream Network claims to have recorded almost 5.5 million page impressions. "We shifted the paradigm of Internet access one year ago [X-Stream was the first ISP to offer a subscription-free service] and now we have done it again with free weekend calling in March," said Paul Myers, the company's MD. Myers is adamant that the company will continue its pioneering run. Underlining X-Stream's vigour in the already tight ISP marketplace, he also announced the appointment of Paul Shalet as Sales & Marketing Director. Shalet joins The X-Stream Network from Boston-based IDG Marketing Services where he was Senior Vice President for Europe Middle East and Africa. ®

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