Cash conscious surfers back Freeserve model

Research claims Dixons’ hold on market now unshakeable

Net users in the UK are fickle and think nothing of trading ISPs if they can save a few bob*. That's the conclusion of a new study by Fletcher Research Internet Access Strategies: Freeing the Future. It concluded that Net users have been swift to adopt subscription-free providers while leaving subscription-based services such as AOL, CompuServe and MSN languishing by the wayside. But couldn't the same fickleness and disloyalty expressed by Net users bring down Freeserve? Not according to Neil Bradford, a director at Fletcher Research. "We do not expect any other brand to be able match, let alone overtake, Freeserve’s progress, unless a new business model for delivering access arrives, such as offering free phone calls or free PCs," he said. "In just nine months, the Internet access industry has been revolutionised by the advent of subscription-free providers. "Freeserve’s compelling proposition and aggressive development has built a powerful online brand with a formidable lead in the UK Internet access market," he said. Which all bodes well for the impending sale of Freeserve later this year -- unless, of course, another ISP enters the arena with a new business model that turns the market on its head. * bob n. (sl.; pl. same). Shilling.** ** shilling n. Coin & money of account, equivalent to 12d in old money pre-decimalization. ®

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