Le Freeswerve says ‘bonjour’ to flat-rate Net access

Rivals 'knocked into a cocked hat'

Le Freeswerve - the UK's leading soon-to-be-French ISP - has launched its much hyped 24/7 unmetered Net access bringing round-the-clock flat-fee Net access to the marketplace.

Freeserve AnyTime costs £12.99 a month and includes all subscription charges and telephone connection costs to the Net. What's more, it's £2 a month cheaper than a similar offer from rival AOL UK.

Those who registered their early interest in the new service will be able to use the service from today.

The new product replaces Freeserve's Unlimited offering which provided 24/7 unmetered Net access for just £10 a month. However, this service has been plagued with problems and was being operated at a loss by Le Freeswerve.

Those who are still Freeserve Unlimited are being coaxed onto the new service - if for no other reason that it will save Le Freeswerve Francs. However, a spokesmadame for Le Freeswerve insisted punters would not be forced to accept the new offer.

AnyTime is based on the wholesale Net access product FRIACO (Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination) which caps the telco costs for ISPs providing unmetered access. Because ISP's costs are capped, they can provide a fixed cost for Net access for their customers.

The alternative is that consumers are charged by the minute for their dial-up telephone calls to the Net - a move that means users pay more the longer they are online.

In a statement, Monsieur John Pluthero, CEO of Le Freeswerve, said: "As the UK's favourite Internet service provider it's fitting that Freeserve should produce the most favourable flat rate package there is in the market today.

"By offering Internet users the best deals around on Internet call charges supported by dedicated network and customer service, not for the first time Freeserve competitors have been knocked into a cocked hat*."

BT could announce the launch of its competing FRIACO-based product as early as this Friday. ®

* knocked into a cocked hat - the eloquent Monsieur Pluthero has chosen a 200-year idiom to blow a raspberry at the opposition. For a definition check out this link and then ask yourself if he really said it - or someone just made it up for a laugh.

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