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ntl Offers Penny-a-Minute Internet Access

Leading UK cable TV company ntl is offering a cut-rate Internet access service that will cost users just one penny per minute at all times.

ntl believes the clarity of its pricing in contrast to BT's complex charging policy will be every bit as welcome as its highly competitive rates.

The company will charge normal telephone calls at 3p per minute between 8am and 6pm, 2p per minute during the evening and 1p per minute at weekends, with a 3.5p connection charge for all calls. Internet access will always be 1p per minute.

"We know that the UK public wants the best range of services, at the best price, without having to spend hours deciphering an incredibly complex bill," said Steve Wagner, group managing director of ntl.

"And that is exactly what we are giving them; simplicity; fantastic value telephone calls and Internet access; the best interactive services and the promise of digital TV very soon. And for the first time we're offering this unbeatable service to everyone across the country."

However, the charges are not quite as simple as ntl claims, as there is also the connection charge to the ntl cable network, which is £8.92 ($14) per month to consider, which is -- as ntl points out -- the same as BT's monthly charge for telephone line rental.

To upgrade to digital cable, which will become available in September, or to the TV Internet service costs an additional £5 ($8) each per month or £7 ($11) for both. A full package of cheaper telephone calls, digital TV, TV Internet and interactive services will be available from ntl for £15.92 ($25) per month.