28 September 2000

FreeServe, the Dixons Stores Group-owned ISP, yesterday revealed that its move into the UK’s turbulent unmetered access market had doubled Q1 pre-tax losses from £8.555 million to £17.818m.

However, there had been a dramatic increase in unmetered customer recruitment, lifting subscriptions from 140,000 to over 250,000 as at September 24. Overall, active registered accounts, including the basic service, now stand at 2.053m.

So heavily used was the unmetered service, said a FreeServe spoke, that it had been intermittently unavailable during the past few weeks because of “capacity constraints caused by demand for unmetered access”. The ISP is urgently working with telecoms partner Energis to increase capacity, which it says will be increased by 25% before the end of this week.

FreeServe also announced the roll-out of an internet portal which will be pre-installed on all Bush TV sets and set-top boxes sold by Dixons group retail outlets. The portal will also be available via ONnet, the TV internet service run by broadcaster ONdigital.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)