AOL sparks net access price war in France

Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondent

Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondent

An internet price war is brewing in France following an announcement by AOL France to offer unlimited internet access for less than £10 a month. The French arm of the American ISP giant is offering connection to the internet at any time of day or night for only FF99 (£10) a month. AOL claimed it was time someone challenged the France Telecom monopoly in France. A spokeswoman for AOL said: "France Telecom has a monopoly, it charges too much money for internet access and we want to change this. The current access prices put people off connecting and we think this should change." She claimed French citizens needed incentives to surf the internet. "We decided to offer this price so users will stay online longer than prices allow them to at the moment." However, users have to sign up before 31 October to take advantage of the deal and agree to a two year period. Surfers registering after this date will have to pay double the original fee for unlimited access. France Telecom refused to comment on AOL's offer but said it would be releasing its new pricing for internet access over the next couple of days. The battle intensified late yesterday afternoon as supermarket chain Carrefour announced it is to provide customers with 120 free hours of internet access over a one year period.