Web portal AltaVista yesterday announced the cessation its free internet access offer because of the imminent demise of 1stUp, the company which supplies the service’s infrastructure.

The offer, launched eighteen months ago to drive traffic to AltaVista’s search engine site, will be withdrawn on December 10, the same day that CMGI subsidiary 1stUp ceases to trade.

AltaVista said it has no plans to offer a similar service in the future. Instead, it is encouraging users to subscribe to Microsoft’s MSN, currently on promotional offer to AltaVista customers free for three months.

News source: Financial Times