Virgin to launch flat-rate service

Unmetered Internet access comes another step closer this week with Virgin Net’s launch of a &£15 flat-rate service.

Initially restricted on a trial basis to 10,000 existing Virgin Net customers, the new package is called Stop-The-Clock (STC). In line with an emerging, if unofficial, Virgin group policy of “keeping it simple”, STC avoids not only connection charges and Internet call charges, but also bills, set-up forms and any other “hidden costs”.

Virgin Net managing director Alex Heath says: “We are confident that this offer will deliver a commercially profitable, high-quality and consumer-friendly Internet package”. He adds that customers will receive round-the-clock, all-year support.

Stop-The-Clock, which will be rolled out nationwide in July with a marketing campaign based on trial feedback, is being billed as the first of a number of “innovative access and communication products” to be unveiled by Virgin Net over the coming months. It comes hard on the heels of decisions by AltaVista, Freeserve, NTL, BT and others to offer unmetered Internet access.

Virgin Net offers a range of services, including 13 UK-specific entertainment and leisure content channels and an online shopping portal. The site received almost 1.5 million unique users in January, according to ABC Electronic.

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