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Free Net calls trial extended at X-Stream

Problems still dog service, but you were warned

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The X-Stream Network has decided to continue offering its users 24/7 0800 dial-up access to the Net once its trial finishes at the end of the month, The Register can reveal. The rapidly expanding British ISP was due to call time on the trial at the end of January, but has decided to extend it "indefinitely" to its 550,000 users. Although news of X-Stream's decision is likely to be welcomed by users it's clear that the trial has not been all plain sailing for the ISP. Although X-Stream says the trial has been a success, fears that the service would be swamped -- especially during peak hours -- have proved correct. One user said that he tried to access the service for two days without any joy dialling up to 600 times in one hour alone. Another reportedly redialled continuously for 25 hours only to be able to connect for four minutes. But frustrated users shouldn't be surprised if the service hasn't lived up to their expectations. When the trial was launched in December Greg Sukornyk, CEO of X-Stream, made it clear that the service had limited capacity and that it would be available on a "first come first served" basis. Paul Myers, MD of The X-Stream Network, admitted today that the capacity made available for daytime access was less than off-peak hours, although he claims the ISP is working to improve the service. "We've gone beyond what we promised to deliver," said Myers. "There were never any guarantees that people would get on in the first place," he said. ® Related stories: Second free call trial kicks off at X-Stream

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