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Freeserve mulls dial-up usage limit

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Freeserve is mulling over following BT Openworld's lead and introduce usage caps for its flat-rate unmetered AnyTime service.

Currently, Freeserve has no monthly limit for its all-you-can-eat unmetered service. But according to sources, all that could change with execs considering whether to introduce a cap similar to BT Openworld's 150 hour a month limit for its unmetered dial-up product.

A spokeswoman for Freeserve said she was unaware of any such moves to impose a cap on its unmetered service.

However, increased losses at the UK arm of French ISP, Wanadoo, means that Freeserve is being forced to look at cutting costs.

In a statement yesterday Wanadoo said that it had "initiated a programme aimed at enhancing income performance to cut its losses".

Part of that comes from news Freeserve sneaked out late last week adding £1 a month to its AnyTime service. The price rise - bringing the cost of AnyTime to £14.99 a month - comes into force from March 25.

As well as trying to increase revenue, it's also trying to cut costs. Recently, it renegotiated key contracts with its network supplier, Energis, and customer service operators both of which Freeserve claims should help reduce costs.

Said Freeserve in a statement: "We greatly reduced network costs by renegotiating our contract with Energis; the benefits of which will be seen in 2003.

"We are also negotiating more efficient customer service contracts where we are paying less but offering a superior service." ®

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