Telewest Freezes Unmetered Service Sign-Up

UK cable operator Telewest has stopped accepting new
customers for its unmetered Internet service while it sorts
out continuing technical problems.

No new subscribers will be accepted for at least three weeks
while Telewest upgrades its modem and network capacity to
cope with the heavy demand for its £10 a month
Surfunlimited service.

The news will come as little comfort to Surfunlimited
customers and other Telewest Internet customers as they
battle to connect to the service.

Telewest says it is unhappy with the quality of the service
and has repeatedly apologised to customers. A spokesman
said one of the problems is that customers are staying
connected for too long.

“It’s not just about getting on. People staying online for
hours at a time carries problems of its own,” said the

Another major problem is that Telewest’s telephone
exchanges were unprepared for the service and unable to
cope, as revealed exclusively here last month.

Customers who contacted today said that while
Telewest is still taking details from new customers, they will
not be sent the dial-up software or connected to the service
for the foreseeable future.

Telewest confirmed the enrolment freeze. “It’s going to be
about three weeks before we’re able to guarantee the quality
of service in terms of modem capacity in our networks,” said
the spokesman.

The company has no plans to compensate customers for the

“These are all new learning experiences. The fact remains
that it is still the only genuinely unlimited service out there,”
said the spokesman.

BT Internet yesterday extended its unmetered service to
include weekday evenings as well as weekends. It also cut
the cost of the service from £11.75 to £9.99 a month.

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