Gamers get their own unmetered service

Service hopes to relieve the strain on other unmetered ISPs

Online gaming service provider Netgames announced Friday it is to launch an unmetered Internet package specifically for gamers. The firm hopes it may help unclog the lines for other unmetered ISPs.

For fans of Quake 3 and other popular online games, Christmas has come early, with Netgames offering the service free until 31 December. From 1 January the charge is £25 a month.

The service -- which will run over a Cable & Wireless backbone -- is necessary due to the amount of time gamers spend surfing says a spokesman for the company.

"The bigger ISPs don't want gamers to spend too much time online and the smaller ones have underestimated the amount of time they spend online. Some of the ISPs have high contention ratios [a large amount of users reliant on the same line] and when a gamer comes on it will blow your line to pieces," he says.

He claims gamers spend an average of 20 hours per month on the Net. This compares to around eight hours for an average Net user. "Our service should help other ISPs. It will unblock their lines," he adds.

One of the most important aspects of the service, the spokesman claims, will be quality of service which will need to be higher than for most Internet users. To make the service robust Netgames has been in talks with C&W since July in order to build a suitable unmetered platform for gamers.

With a business plan "very much the same" as AOL, Netgames is also confident it has a robust financial future. Other ISPs found the burden of paying BT per minute for unmetered services too much and several cancelled their services. AOL, on the other hand, is making use of the revolutionary Friaco agreement and will rent lines from BT for a lump sum.

Online gaming is evolving into a global business and Netgames intends to use its unmetered service to stage a number of Internet games competitions. Plans are also underway to stage a major game tournament across Europe next year.

How can you get online for less? Find out in the Unmetered Access Special.

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