01 July 1998

HIGH STREET electrical giant Dixons Group has launched FreeServe, a no-cost internet access service. Available via a free CD-Rom from Dixons and its sister companies Currys, PC World and The Link, there is no sign-up fee or monthly rental - the only cost being that of a local phone call. Rival Internet access fees vary between £8 and £17.50 per month. So what’s in it for Dixons, not famed for giving ‘owt for nowt? 'We believe FreeServe will drive up the use of the Internet and through it sales of personal computers', explains John Clare, Dixons chief executive. Dixons coffers will be further enriched by sponsorship and ads on FreeServe’s general pages. Clare claims that the service, which also provides a free e-mail address, free personal Web pages and news headlines from the Press Association, will save users up to £165 annually in access charges.