Silver surfers get own ISP

UK-based service courts ageing population

Middle-aged surfers who are struggling to keep up with the hip and happening pace of the Web are being offered sanctuary by a whippersnapper.

Thirty two-year-old Richard Spinks, a former business development director at Lycos Bertelsmann, has created Vavo.com as part of a "radical venture to encourage millions of over 45s to join the digital revolution".

Launched initially in the UK but with the capacity to be expanded worldwide, Vavo.com aims to corner the "affluent grey market" which Spinks reckons so far has been largely overlooked and untapped. He hopes to sign up half-a-million ageing Net users within a year and plans to make his money through advertising, sponsorship and ecommerce.

"We are crossing the Web's final frontier to bring the over 45s generation into the Internet revolution," said Spinks. "They have been excluded from the greatest invention since the telephone and we intend to kick down the door and let them in." There are currently more than 11 million over 55s in the UK and in the next 20 years half the adult population of Europe will be over 45 years-old, he notes.

The Register contacted the Saga Group which is famous for catering for the needs of the over 50s in a number of areas including holidays and insurance. A spokeswoman said she'd call back with details of Saga's Internet strategy and whether it planned to do something similar. But she didn't call back - poor love probably forgot or something, or may be had to go for her afternoon nap. I said, SHE PROBABLY FORGOT OR SOMETHING DEAR… oh, never mind. ®

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