New ISP to slash Net access rates

Internet and telecoms company Telinco is launching a free Internet service provider (ISP) this week which aims to undercut access charges of market leaders Freeserve and AOL.

Telinco, which operates ISP services under its own banner and for third party brands including News International, is aiming the new service, called Strayduck, at the electronic gaming community.

It is understood that the ISP (www.strayduck.com), which is to be promoted through covermounts on a range of Ziff-Davis computing magazines and an online ad campaign, will effectively offer a third off standard BT call rates. Users will be entitled to a free quota of 0800 calls every third week of use, based on a rolling average of the previous fortnight’s local rate 0845 call hours.

Users who buy goods through the site will earn further credits granting them extra free call time.

According to Telinco marketing director Simon Preston: “The gaming population, which represents 10 to 15 per cent of the UK online population, spends an average of two to three times longer online than other users. That’s a substantial amount of call time for us to target.”

Preston insists the service can avoid the problems of low take-up and the reputation for poor service associated with other subscription-free ISPs offering free or discounted telephone access.

“We are moving the pricing model for access on again,” says Preston. “Our service quality is right up there with the best, which it wasn’t 12 months ago.”

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