Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/27/freeserve_wanadoo_rebrand/

Freeserve morphs into Wanadoo

Confirms £17.99 a month broadband offer

By Tim Richardson

Posted in Broadband, 27th April 2004 16:17 GMT

Freeserve finally completes its month-long corporate makeover tomorrow as it ditches its well-known brand and swaps it for Wanadoo instead.

As part of the rebranding, Wanadoo UK confirmed that it is launching a new £17.99 per-month 512k broadband product with a 2 Gig a month cap. While it admits that the product will be loss-making, it reckons it's a price worth paying as it cements its new image in the UK market.

It also confirmed that its 512k "plus" service is to cost £27.99 a month capped with a 15 Gig a month usage limit and that its 1Mb service is priced at £34.99 a month coupled with a 30 Gig usage limit.

Although Wanadoo is keen to push these new products, it also wants to see a shake-up in the UK's broadband market and still believes unbundling the local loop (LLU) is the way forward.

Wanadoo wants to see the cost of unbundling come down in line with other European countries, and believes the high cost of LLU is why only around 11,000 lines have been unbundled in the UK so far.

In its evidence to a recent parliamentary committee examining broadband, Freeserve said it was prepared to put its full weight - and the financial muscle of its parent, Wanadoo - behind LLU in a bid to sever the ISP's reliance on BT for broadband.

That commitment was repeated today with the ISP remaining "cautiously optimistic" that it could see some progress later this year. "Within the next six months we hope to see some very positive signs from Ofcom on LLU," said Wanadoo UK chief exec Eric Abensur. ®

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