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CUT calls time on unmetered campaign

Internet lobby group bows out victorious

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The Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications (CUT) - which did so much to champion the cause of flat-rate Net access in Britain - is to fold.

At its annual general meeting (AGM) its membership voted unanimously to dissolve the pressure group after conceding that its task of fighting for unmetered net access had been won.

In a brief statement CUT said: "After three years of effort, the Campaign had fulfilled its objectives - there being sustainable unmetered telecommunications at reasonable cost in the United Kingdom - and that it was time to stop when ahead.

"Committee members will continue to contribute to industry events and discussions on their own initiative," it said.

CUT's demise is to be expected. More than a year ago El Reg warned that the pressure group that helped turn an industry on its head would end up being a casualty of its own success.

In March 2000 El Reg wrote: "The Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications has lobbied, fought, petitioned, cajoled, argued, demonstrated, and picketed for the Net access clock to be switched off. It has won the backing of major companies including AOL UK and Intel. It has taken its campaign to the very heart of Government meeting with the e-commerce minister, Patricia Hewitt, to make its case heard above the interests of near-monopolistic telcos. Staff at Oftel claim CUT has influenced policy-making at the winged watchdog. The activities of CUT was referred to during a debate on the cost of Net access in Parliament last summer, and its submission to a select committee was quoted at some length in a parliamentary report. In short, CUT has been a major driving force behind the adoption of unmetered access in Britain."

Our view of this organisation has not changed one jot since then. Indeed, its stature as a lobby group has grown as affordable, unmetered telecoms is now widely avaiable inthe UK.

Above all, CUT showed just how much of a difference ordinary people can make if they remain committed and organised.

Every single person who uses unmetered Net access in the UK is indebted to CUT. Make no mistake, CUT took on BT and won.

CUT - El Reg salutes you.

CUT has also said that it is donating outstanding campaign funds - around £1,000 - to the IT charity HumanITy. ®

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