Feeds

Net access in Britain is a shambles

FRIACO fiasco damaging market, claims PlusNet

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.