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Le Freeswerve flags 24/7 congestion problems

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There are question marks today about the quality of services users can expect from Le Freeswerve's new 24/7 unmetered Net access service.

According to its FAQs, Le Freeswerve will "instigate congestion control measures" if the network gets too busy with people using Freeserve AnyTime.

No one was available at press time to say what those measures might be or what compensation users would get if access to the service were blocked by congestion.

Critics could argue that Le Freeswerve shouldn’t sign-up new users if the service isn't robust enough to take them. Time will tell.

In a bid to ease the problem, the ISP will automatically dump people off the AnyTime service after two hours connection regardless of whether they're using the service or not.

"This is necessary to allow all members to access the service," Le Freeswerve says.

It continues: "Freeserve Anytime is not intended to support continuous or unattended Internet access, and as a result there is a 2 hour cut-off time on each call."

Users are free to reconnect immediately to the £12.99 a month service, apparently. However, this is hardly reassuring.

AOL UK, which also runs a 24/7 unmetered Net access service, does not impose cut off times for people using the service, although it will boot off people if the service remains idle.

Both AOL Flat Rate and Freeserve AnyTime are based on the wholesale unmetered access product, FRIACO, which caps telco costs for ISPs.

The Freeserve FAQ

Q Can I stay connected all the time?

A Freeserve Anytime is not intended to support continuous or unattended Internet access, and as a result there is a 2 hour cut-off time on each call. This is necessary to allow all members to access the service. Freeserve monitors the network and takes measures to control congestion if there is evidence that this is occurring. If usage is such that it is significantly affecting service to other members of our network then Freeserve will instigate congestion control measures.

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Le Freeswerve says 'bonjour' to flat-rate Net access

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