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The idea of ADSL is simple: offer high speed access at a fixed price so that users don't have to worry about a per minute charge as with traditional dial up access in Europe. But some companies are now turning that concept around. Internet provider Zon has started offering ADSL in the Benelux without a subscription. You pay per minute, just like the old days.

The company hopes to sign up users who don’t need to be online all the time, but want fast access. However, it might not be the best solution after all. Zon is charging €1.79 per hour in the evening and weekends (and more on work days), while unmetered ADSL access from Zon cost as low as €14.95 per month. It also charges a connection fee per session of €0.25. This is to avoid that subscribers log in shortly to get their email and save money.

Meanwhile, KPN Telecom has started a ADSL To Go service for as low as €21,95 per month. Users get speeds at 384 Kbps downstream and 128 Kbps upstream, but KPN does not offer standard web hosting, e mail or newsgroups facilities. Their advice: Bring your own webmail. ®

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