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Freeserve strikes back with unmetered service

Details thin on the ground as UK's leading ISP responds to NTL

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Freeserve will launch a "low cost" unmetered Net access service to compete with other ISPs, but it won't say when or how much it will cost. Responding to today's news that NTL is offering flat-fee access to the Net a spokesman for the monster ISP said that it was considering several options. One of them is BT's wholesale flat-fee package, SurfTime II, although there is no indication yet when this will be available -- or whether it will be available at all. Elsewhere, a spokesman for AOL UK said NTL's offering was a "really interesting business model". But he said that the NTL deal was aimed at the "value end of the market" instead of the "value-added" content rich service provided by AOL UK. But with people now openly talking of a price war, AOL UK's spokesman was quick to finger BT. "Our major concern is that BT won't respond. We will do everything we can to bring down the cost of Net access but it will be difficult if the major telco provider is still charging on a per minute basis," he said. So if BT is dragging its feet is it possible that AOL UK could forge an alliance with NTL? NTL would get new phone customers and AOL UK would be able to offer unlimited access to the Net. AOL UK's spokesman refused to be drawn. ® Related stories: Freeserve in NTL's sights Blair hails NTL Free Everything ISP plans It's first come, first served: AltaVista Telewest to offer unlimited Net access

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