Freeserve jumps on ‘free’ Net access bandwagon

Freeserve, the UK’s first free Internet access provider, has announced the launch of its own version of unmetered access, jumping on a bandwagon set in motion by search engine rival AltaVista.

The company, which is 80 per cent owned by electrical retailer Dixons, will from May offer unmetered access at off-peak times for &£6.99 a month to customers who access the service through a BT line.

In a separate offer, it is launching unrestricted free access with telecoms company Energis for &£10 a month, provided customers spend &£10 each month on standard telephone calls.

The offers bring Freeserve into line with rivals LineOne, NTL, Virgin Net, BT Surftime and CallNet, all of which have announced unmetered deals following AltaVista’s announcement last week that it would offer unmetered access for just &£30 to &£50 a year.

AltaVista has been criticised by rivals, who say the service has yet to be launched and doubt its claims that it can be sustained through advertising revenue alone.

However, Alta Vista’s announcement caused Freeserve’s rocketing share price to plummet by 40 per cent from a high of 977 pence per share. At 3pm on Tuesday this week, the share price had recovered 10.6 per cent to 640 pence, following Freeserve’s announcement of its new initiative.

Freeserve chief executive John Pluthero says: “The no-catch, fixed price offer applicable to 85 per cent of our users on BT provides the clarity and simplicity customers demand.”

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here