Feeds

Kingfisher swoops on free Net access

Plans replica of Freeserve model for all of Europe

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Europe is on the verge of an all-out Internet revolution following the announcement this morning that UK-based Kingfisher has joined forces with the investment house Group Arnault to offer subscription-free Net access throughout the Continent. Initially, it will only be available in France but both companies have plans to roll out the service throughout the rest of Europe, including the UK. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in France have reacted swiftly to the proposed launch of Libertysurf. In what can only be described as a knee-jerk reaction, Infonie and World Online France have both said today they will offer subscription-free Net access for a year to a limited number of people in response to the initiative. The panic, it seems, has already set in. Kingfisher and Group Arnault will each hold a 40 per cent stake in the new joint venture and the remaining 20 per cent will be held by parties providing management and technical support. "There is huge potential for Libertysurf and we have ambitious but achievable growth targets for the new service," said Bernard Arnault, chairman of France's Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy group. "In Kingfisher, we have found a partner with the experience and vision to ensure the success of this venture," he said. Libertysurf -- which roughly translated means Freesurf -- closely mirrors the UK’s Freeserve in a number of ways and both Kingfisher and Arnault make no secret of the similarities. The service will be distributed through Kingfisher's chain of Darty electrical stores -- just like Dixons -- and follows the broad principles proven by the Freeserve success. It will also supply content creating a portal with a distinctive national audience base. Unfortunately, more details as to exactly how Libertysurf will make its cash were not forthcoming. Despite announcing the service this morning, no one at Kingfisher was available for comment when The Register called – something else it has in common with Freeserve. A spokeswoman for Freeserve said that Kingfisher's move proved that the Dixons model for subscription-free access was right but refused to comment further on how this would impact upon the service. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
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
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 ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.