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Shies away from beating up BT

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Senior executives at Intel have refused to publicly berate BT for the high cost of Net access in the UK despite holding a secret meeting with the telco's arch foes, the Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications (CUT). Privately, however, one senior Intel executive said he would like to see the cost of Net access in Britain tumble admitting that the current tariff structure "was hurting us". Although he confirmed that the meeting with CUT took place back in August he was unaware whether the chipco was still in negotiation with CUT. An official Intel spokesman said he didn't know of any such meeting -- or who to talk to in the organisation who would know. Intel's diplomatic stance is in sharp contrast to that of AOL Europe. This week Andreas Schmidt, AOL Europe's president and CEO urged business leaders to unite behind the company's campaign against the high cost of metered Internet telephone calls in the UK. Schmidt said that the continuing low levels of Net usage in the UK undermined the government's vision of the country being at the centre of the European e-commerce revolution. ®

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