Supanet offers unmetered service

One of the UK's largest ISPs heads into a market that has claimed several victims in the past year

ISP Supanet announced on Wednesday the launch of an unmetered service.

Supanet currently has around 830,000 registered users and is now the sixth largest ISP in the UK. The service -- dubbed supahighway -- will cost £12.99 per month for unlimited use. With a contention rate of 15 to one, the ISP is promising a reliable service.

"We are committed to ensuring our unlimited product exceeds supanet customers' expectations and continues to provide the quality Internet access they have come to expect," said chief operating officer Norman Wellington in a statement.

Supanet is the latest in a host of ISPs to take advantage of Friaco (Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination), the wholesale unmetered product Oftel forced BT to roll out last summer after complaints that its previous product, SurfTime, was unworkable and unsustainable for other ISPs. BT itself is now offering Friaco-based services to some of the smaller ISPs it hosts.

It has been a tough year for ISPs. Last summer was a disaster for many as they rolled out unmetered products that were either of poor quality or financially unsustainable. Most have now been withdrawn and the UK's largest ISPs, including AOL, Freeserve and World Online are all now offering Friaco services.

The recent downturn in tech fortunes has also affected ISPs and one survey believes up to 40 percent face closure in the next 18 months.

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