PARIS: French telecoms titan Neuf Cegetel, new owner of AOL France, has unveiled an internet offering for technophobes - the 50% or so of the country's citizens who do not own a PC.
The company, which is moving towards a flotation later this month, is offering Easy Gate, a white cube containing basic computer innards for just €40 ($50; £27). The price also includes broadband internet access and unlimited phone calls to French landlines.
A further €99 can buy a screen, keyboard and webcam plus technical help if new users find themselves floundering.
Neuf Cegetel believes that outside France's 11 million broadband homes, there are still plenty of tentative computer users or cyber-virgins whose needs remain simple and largely unserved.
The company believes its AOL deal, worth €288m, will help it reach its target of two million broadband subscribers by the end of 2007.
Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff