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easynet in broadband for schools voucher scheme

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easynet is looking to increase its broadband subscriber base by introducing a voucher scheme to give free or subsidised high-speed Net access to schools.

Launched today, new business subscribers signing up for easynet's broadband service can earn "SPLAT" vouchers. If schools gather together enough of these vouchers they can, in turn, trade them in for free or subsidised broadband access.

So, let's look at the sums. For a school to get a bog standard ADSL connection they need to get 100 "SPLATS".

Businesses signing up to easynet's entry level ADSL service will receive just two "SPLATS". So, 50 business users on the entry level service will get enough for one connection for one school. Tough going? Maybe.

Any business signing up to easynet's 1Mb business SDSL service (£995 to install and £2,400 a year rental) will earn 15 "SPLATS".

Get the picture? the more you spend, the more "SPLATS" you get. It's the basis behind all loyalty-based marketing schemes.

Anyone who might be vaguely cynical about such a scheme, however, should think again.

According to easynet, this initiative will encourage "close co-operation between UK business and consumer broadband users and their local schools" and "help put Britain at the forefront of developing an education infrastructure for the 21st Century".

Incidentally, companies snuggling up close schools is a marketing idea that's been around for ages. For example, in 1999 Thames Valley Internet company, Voss Net, planned to offer free Net access and subsidised computer gear to the UK's 32,000 schools.

It worked on the basis that the more time parents, teachers and pupils spent online through the ISP, the more money the school received that they could spend on Net access or computer equipment.

The offer is no longer available. ®

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