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Apple signs Demon as exclusive UK ISP

Mirrors US deal with EarthLink

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Apple has signed UK telco Thus' ISP, Demon, as the exclusive Net access provider for British Mac users.

The deal mirrors a similar deal struck between Apple and US ISP EarthLink early last year. Under the terms of that agreement, EarthLink got a $200 million investment and Apple got a cut from the subscription of each Mac user who signed to the ISP.

The terms of the Thus alliance were not disclosed, though it was described in a statement as a "multi-year" agreement.

Essentially, the deal means that when UK Mac users install new system software or run a new Mac for the first time, the Mac OS' Internet Setup Assistant will sign them up to Demon for Net access. Experienced users or those who already have accounts with other ISPs will be able to enter their details, but anyone who hasn't will get Demon and only Demon.

Users will get a 30-day free access trial if they do select Demon as their ISP.

Demon is one of the oldest UK ISPs - certainly the longest serving provider of cheap Net access to consumers, thanks to its pioneering 'tenner a month' tariff. Occasional growth-related access issues aside, Demon has a pretty good record of supporting the Mac.

The deal appears to be a European rather than a UK gig, and the tone of comments from Apple Europe VP and General Manager Pascal Cagni suggests similar deals are in the works with local ISPs throughout the Continent. ®

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