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RealTime IT News

Manchester United Launches Free ISP

Europe's top football club Manchester United launched its own Internet service on Thursday in conjunction with the international network services provider UUNET.

ManUFree.Net is being offered initially to fans in the UK, with an international roll-out expected during the next six months. Its aim, says finance director David Gill, is to link fans around the world and offer them a comprehensive set of online services.

Manchester United is the second English soccer club to offer Internet access, following the lead of London-based Arsenal, recently.

Users of the new service will each get five e-mail addresses, 20MB of Web space (versus only 5MB from Arsenal), and a home page that will keep them in constant touch with the round-the-year activities of the team.

The Manchester United team will now seem closer to home for its UK fans, no matter how distant the away match. Currently, the team is playing a series of friendlies in Australia -- too distant for any but the most travel-hardened fan.

UUNET, which already sponsors part of the Manchester United Web site, says it has been investing $2 million per day in its global Internet infrastructure to enable it to supply services to "world class organisations, such as Manchester United."