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Demon is trying to break into the entry-level broadband market, with a new product that breaks the all-important important £20-a-month barrier. "Home 500" costs £19.99 a month and does not include download restrictions either.

Demon, the ISP business of alternative telco Thus, reckons the un-capped service is spot on for home users, home workers and small offices who want a fast connection without having to keep an eye on how much they use the service.

Said Demon's Nigel Stevens: "With email and internet usage very much a part of everyday life, people don't want to be restricted by when and how much they access the Internet. There are no caps on usage, meaning there will be no surprise bills. This is key for home workers and small businesses wanting to maintain control over their Internet costs."

Two weeks ago shares in Thus nosedived 30 per cent to 11.5p after a warning that profits would be down on last year. Thus blamed tough trading conditions and predatory pricing from rivals for the gloomy forecast.

Since then shares have recovered a little and are currently trading at 15.25p, partly because of speculation that venture capitalists could be sniffing around the telco. ®

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