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AltaVista beta-tests UK ISP service

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AltaVista will begin beta testing its new British toll-free ISP service next week before launching the service for real after Easter. Marcus Bicknell, president of AltaVista majority shareholder CMGI's European operation, said a million people had registered for the service since it was announced last month. Bicknell also denied press speculation that AltaVista's decision to pre-announce the flat-fee unmetered service was little more than a publicity stunt. He added that AltaVista was looking to offer broadband services sometime in the future, although ADSL wasn't on the agenda. Yet. Instead, AltaVista was toying with the idea of cable or satellite services, he said. This, it seems, is how AltaVista will make its money in the future. The strategy appears to be hoover up as many customers as possible now—even if it's going to cost megabucks to do it—and then flog 'em broadband when it comes around. ® Related Story It's first come, first served: AltaVista

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