BTInternet free Web calls announced at last

Just like we told you last week, in fact

BTInternet has finally confirmed it is to offer 0800 access to the Net. A spokesman for BT telephoned The Register last night to say the limited toll-free service was going ahead despite spending all last week denying it. BTInternet's move could spark a series of copycat services as other ISPs try to compete on level terms. LineOne is rumoured to be looking into the possibility of offering toll-free access and AOL has already said it is trialling a similar service. It seems there are no practical reasons why other ISPs couldn't follow suit. The new service is not being subsidised and BTInternet is having to pay the going-rate for the free calls people will use. "BTInternet will gain no advantage by being part of BT," said David Pincott, a spokesman for BT. "This should help generate much more interest in BTInternet." Just as The Register predicted last week, the BTInternet offer will begin this weekend. It is only available to those subscribers who pay £11.75 a month for BTInternet's unlimited usage price plan. An announcement on BTInternet's home page reads: "0800 CALL ACCESS AT WEEKENDS FOR BT INTERNET PLAN UNLIMITED CUSTOMERS!!" There are no plans at present to extend the service to include off-peak weekday calls. ®

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