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Alta Vista MD speaks to the Reg

BT and lack of communication to blame

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Andy Mitchell, MD of AltaVista in the UK and Ireland, has denied he lied about the much-hyped Net access service being available.

He also said he wasn't planning to resign over the affair which has made AltaVista the laughing stocking of the Net community.

Mitchell told The Register that he, and he alone, took the decision to handle press relations for the company.

It was his decision that no one else was able to comment on allegations that AltaVista had no customers and no ISP, despite insisting that it was rolling out the service.

Asked what he meant by "AltaVista Unlimited Internet Access launched on 30 June, 2000, and is currently being rolled out to our list of preregistered customers" he said this merely referred to the service being available. He said this didn't necessarily mean the service was being used by customers.

Mitchell blamed BT for his company's problems and said that a breakdown in communications had not helped matters either.

"I was remiss in communicating with our customers," he said.

"I should have done it [informed customers the service didn't exist] three or four weeks ago.

"I apologise for this," he said.

Asked whether the fiasco has damaged the company he said: "I don't know." ®

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