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ScottishTelecom To Provide V-Zone Access

ScottishTelecom, the owner of Demon Internet, will introduce V-Zone communities to the UK using virtual world technology from Avaterra.com, it was announced Thursday.

The move to VR represents another stage in the "freebie wars" as ScottishTelecom attempts to differentiate its free ISP service from all its competitors.

"ScottishTelecom sees Avaterra's V-Zones as the future of the net in terms of entertainment and e-commerce," said Martin Higginson, director of interactive solutions at ScottishTelecom.

Under the terms of this exclusive deal, ScottishTelecom's ISP customers will gain acccess to a special Internet community site where visitors are represented by avatars (graphic actors). Users will be able to "walk about," chat, and play with virtual objects inside the space provided.

One of the planned V-Zone communities will focus on soccer, access to which will be free to ScottishTelecom's nationwide ISP customers.

Although with its Demon Internet brand ScottishTelecom remains the fourth largest web host in the world, during the past six months it has been sidelined by the runaway success of Freeserve, the free ISP service from Dixons.

"We are incorporating Avaterra's avatar technology into our high quality ISP service to put us once again a generation ahead of our competitors," said Higginson.