AltaVista MD resigns amid unmetered flak

After admitting blame for collapse of unmetered package, Andy Mitchell leaves the company Wednesday

Andy Mitchell, AltaVista UK managing director has announced his resignation, following the collapse of the company's pioneering unmetered Internet service package. Mitchell handed in his resignation Wednesday morning and leaves the company immediately, according to the company's press office.

AltaVista was the first name-brand Internet service provider to announce unlimited dial-up access to the Internet for a flat rate, despite ongoing problems procuring a wholesale unmetered access package from British Telecom.

AltaVista first made its package more expensive than expected, and then scrapped the deal entirely, amid criticism that unmetered access was never feasible in the current UK telecoms environment.

In several interviews Mitchell admitted personal blame for the unmetered collapse, saying he should have communicated the company's problems to consumers.

"I apologise to all who feel let down by AltaVista's decision to put our unmetered Internet service on hold," Mitchell wrote in a message posted on AltaVista's Web site this week. "I have made mistakes throughout this episode, especially in terms of my poor communication with you, and I apologise for any confusion or inconvenience."

Full story to follow.

The best you can say for AltaVista is that it may honestly have thought it could provide a profitable unmetered offering. Most of its rivals believe that if it did, it was incompetent and Guy Kewney tends to agree. "The numbers involved are complicated, and it may be that they were simply unable to add them up," said one rival yesterday. Go to AnchorDesk UK for the news comment.

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