In the wake of Alta Vista’s unmetered internet access fiasco [WAMN: 23-Aug-00], UK managing director Andy Mitchell resigned yesterday - exactly one week after the US-owned company admitted it had never launched its much-hyped flat rate unmetered internet access service, despite claims to the contrary.

The service, offered at an annual fee of £50, was announced last March and attracted 274,000 would-be subscribers. Alta Vista blamed British Telecom for its failure to launch the service, alleging that the telecoms giant had been tardy in developing an unmetered package for resale by ISPs. BT vigorously denied the charge, saying that its FRIACO (Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination) system had been available since June.

A contrite Mr Mitchell conceded that he had been 'remiss' in not updating customers about the situation. In an open letter, he also admitted he had not even told his own management about the problems.

He is temporarily replaced by another Alta Vista staffer, acting managing director Stephanie Himoff.

News source: Financial Times