01 June 1998

LIKE OSCAR WILDE, Tesco can resist anything except temptation although, unlike Oscar, its preferred vice is avarice. On this occasion the supermarketeer has succumbed to the lure of the Internet access business and plans to launch TescoNet - at £8.99 per month for unlimited use, well below the prices charged by ISP market leaders. Subscribers will also earn Clubcard points, and the service's home page will hotlink to the Tesco Direct home shopping site. Recent research by BRMB shows that 12% of all UK adults had accessed the Internet in the past six months, while access by home computer users now surpasses that of businesses - although it still lags well behind the USA where 20% of homes are wired. Tesco believes there are a substantial number of families looking for a user-friendly, low cost service. Says Tesco IT director Ian O'Reilly: 'Our experience has shown the new wave of Internet users are looking for a name they can trust.'