Feeds

Net access in Britain is a shambles

FRIACO fiasco damaging market, claims PlusNet

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The MD of Sheffield-based ISP PlusNet has spoken out at the confusion in the unmetered Net access market and warned that unless the issue is rectified, it could inflict long-term damage on the industry and dent consumer confidence.

In a candid interview with the The Register, Lee Strafford warned that Net users in Britain were confused by the different offers - and subsequent withdrawals - of unmetered Net access.

He said that Oftel's ruling on FRIACO (Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination) - which should have paved the way for a wholesale competitive product to BT SurfTime - had raised people's expectations about cheap unmetered Net access.

But the delay in getting this product from the drawing board to the marketplace was proving damaging to the industry and to Net users in Britain. It was also affecting the uptake of SurfTime.

"SurfTime is a failure because the market thinks it is going to get FRIACO since 1 June - but it won't happen until next year," he said.

Of course Strafford has a vested interest since PlusNet is one of four ISPs currently offering BT's SurfTime unmetered package.

But The Register has learnt that less than 200,000 customers have so far signed up to SurfTime or its 24/7 sister-product, AnyTime. This figure is disappointing, but what's also clear is that as the casualty list of ISPs offering unmetered Net access grows, BT's unmetered product will continue to look increasingly more attractive.

"SurfTime is great value, but people expect something based on all the stuff being spouted about FRIACO," said Strafford.

And he's right, to a point. Until Net users are offered real choice based on sound economic models, the whole ISP business in Britain will be tainted by the current collapse of unmetered services. ®

Related Story

FRIACO hit by telco stalemate

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.