CompuServe plans speedier operation to see off US rival

CompuServe UK is relaunching with a faster Internet service to challenge rival America Online.

America Online launched in the UK two months ago. The service, which claims 100,000 members already, is faster than CompuServe. America Online is now twice as big as CompuServe across the world.

The company has briefed direct marketing agency Brann to devise the relaunch campaign.

CompuServe general manager Martin Turner says the campaign will focus on customer retention, rather than acquisition. He also says he aims to create the first Internet brand in the UK.

One Internet Web site manager says: “CompuServe has a reputation for being slow and difficult to use. These changes will need to be good.”

In July, CompuServe is putting software directly on the World Wide Web, instead of on CD-Rom, to up-grade its notoriously slow technology.

CompuServe has about 300,000 UK subscribers.

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