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Who do you think you are kidding, AltaVista?

Brass Neck of the Week

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It may only be Monday but AltaVista has already won the brass neck award for the week.

It doesn't have an ISP and has refused to utter a single word about its plans since it hyped a woolly announcement in March, yet it feels eminently qualified to comment on the state of Net market in Britain and the impact its eventual service launch will have when it finally happens at the end of the month.

"Internet users in Britain will no longer have to pay per minute to go online, but will finally be able to subscribe to an unmetered service, a case which AltaVista championed back in March," it boasts following OFTEL's decision to force BT to offer wholesale unmetered Net access.

Worse still, Andy Mitchell, MD of AltaVista, says: "As the first company to recognise the need for free Internet access in the UK, AltaVista is leading the industry in explaining the implications of this change.

Is that right? "...the first company to recognise the need for free Internet access in the UK..."? Come on Andy, who you trying to kid? You may have scored a PR coup back in March, but don't assume people will fall for that kind of rubbish second time round.

According to one of your team, no journalists were interested in your latest announcement when your PRs touted it last week. I wonder why?

And this from a company that has effectively devised its business model on the hoof.

Still, AltaVista is an experienced Webco and will not suffer the same glitches that have troubled LibertySurf, Screaming.net, NTL, Telewest, CallNet0800 et al. You can guarantee that when the service does launch on June 30 it will go live without a single hitch. No? ®

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