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OFTEL slaps AltaVista

Put up or shut up, says Winged Watchdog

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Oftel today said it was disappointed that AltaVista had "put on hold" plans to introduce unmetered Net access in Britain.

Backing BT, the winged watchdog said that AltaVista announced its plans to deliver unmetered Net access in March before any wholesale Net access deals had been announced.

Therefore, it was up to AltaVista to deliver.

Oftel maintains that the wholesale unmetered access package from BT currently on the table "provides a sound basis to promote competition in unmetered Internet access."

David Edmonds, DG of the regulator, said: "I recognise consumer concern today at the announcement by AltaVista that they are putting their unmetered internet access product on hold.

"It is disappointing to see AltaVista withdraw from the market. But competition is developing and other companies are already offering unmetered services to consumers.

"AltaVista chose to launch their product in March, in advance of wholesale products being available. It is up to AltaVista, as other commercial companies, to make sure that before they launch a product they have a sound business plan to support it," he said. ®

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