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Martin Dawes jumps into the fray

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The latest ISP to offer flat-fee unmetered access to the Net reckons it will bring a breath of fresh air to the marketplace. breathe describes itself as a "leading UK free ISP" (don't they all?), with "between 200,000 and 300,000 subscribers, and reckons its up front one-off payment of £50 will be enticing enough to compete in the already busy free/free ISP marketplace. The service swings into action on Monday 3rd April in partnership with Toys R' US and the radio station, Kiss FM. Unlike the telephony/Internet model that appears to be in vogue at the moment, breathe will generate income from e-commerce and ads. But what's really driving it for breathe is the chance to identify those people who would subscribe to wireless Internet services. No doubt this wouldn’t be handed out for nothing. Sean Gardner, breathe's coo, said he expected the net cost of providing toll-free access to the Net to be between £30 - £50 per user above the £50 registration fee. But he said that was a "sensible cost" if it helps recruit users to its wireless Internet services. The backbone of breathe's dial-up 24/7 toll-free service is to be provided by Manchester-based Opal Telecoms, in which e-ntrepreneur Martin Dawes has a "significant" stake. Dawes is also the man behind Breathe. He sold his mobile telephone retailer, Martin Dawes Telecommunications, in 1998 and picked recently up £20 million pounds in venture capitalist backing. ® Related stories LineOne joins Free Everything gang AOL hits out at BT Freeserve in NTL's sights Blair hails NTL Free Everything ISP plans It's first come, first served: AltaVista AltaVista UK reveals Free Everything plans Telewest to offer unlimited Net access LineOne users to get free phone calls

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