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'Sorry, but we've no option'

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NTL has cut off Linux users from its Freedom dial-up ISP service after imposing new dialler software that only runs on Windows and the Mac OS.

The move has angered users of the service, who claim that the've been deserted by the cableco.

One hacked off punter told The Register: "As a long-standing customer of NTL, I am rather appalled by this policy change. While I can understand that NTL would be unwilling to support less popular operating systems, it is hard to accept that NTL would go as far as to bar non-Windows operating systems from using their service."

For its part, NTL claims the change is essential to maintain service levels for its 100,000 or so Freedom customers. It also insists that the transition to the new dialler software has been ongoing since April with few problems.

A spokesman for NTL said: "Unfortunately, for a tiny number of Linux users we will no longer be able to provide them this service. We are genuinely sorry but have no option but to make this system change."

Linux users aside, others have reported that the new dialler software doesn't work and have been frustrated at the lack of communication from the company.

In a bid to put such concerns right, here's the full statement from NTL on the matter:

NTL Freedom is a high value internet and telephone service. At £15 per month, customers receive £15 worth of telephone calls and 24/7 dial up internet access. In other words it's effectively free internet access for those homes that spend over £15 per month on phone calls and have a BT phone line outside of our cabled areas. There are approx. 100,000 customers using the service today.

"In order to maintain this incredibly high value proposition we need to change dial up methods for some users. This process began in April; the vast majority of customers have now switched over and continue to benefit from the best value service on the market. Feedback from those customers who have changed is very positive and first time success rate of the new software is operating very high. However, any customer who is experiencing a problem with the new software should contact our dedicated Freedom support team on 0870 445 0137.

"The final group of customers who have not switched were emailed recently. We provided one weeks' notice that we needed to make this change. It takes approx. 2.5minutes to download the software. The new system allows us to provide a near 1:1 contention ratio, ensure pricing remains at outstanding levels of value for money and offers us added flexibility to keep improving the service over time.

"Finally, while this is good news for the vast majority of customers, we understand that making this change will affect some customers. For some their PC settings will need to be reset. We hope they'll understand that this change needs to happen and that the future savings will go someway to offset the inconvenience. Unfortunately, for a tiny number of Linux users we will no longer be able to provide them this service. We are genuinely sorry but have no option but to make this system change.

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