RealTime IT News

Excite To Follow Altavista With Free Internet Access

Excite Europe is planning to launch an unmetered internet service in the UK, following in the footsteps of rival portal Altavista.

Altavista said Monday that it will offer 0800 Internet access for a start-up fee of £35 and an annual fee of £10 to £20. Following the announcement, rival portal Excite.co.uk told vnunet.com that it plans to launch a similar service by the end of the year.

Evan Rudowski, Excite Europe's managing director, said: "Although there is nothing formal to announce, we have also been looking at launching these kind of services."

Ade Ajibulu, a consultant at researcher Analysys, believes that Altavista is taking a big gamble with its new service.

"Altavista is making a leap of faith into the UK and is relying on how quickly the market will develop. If it is successful, other providers will be quick to follow," he said.

There is still time for someone to beat Altavista to market, however. The U.S. company said its service will not be ready for three months and even then it will be only for a very limited number of users.