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Breathe closes unmetered scheme

Customers' £50 fee is not to be refunded -- Trading Standards is investigating

Internet service provider Breathe shut down its unmetered Web access for life scheme Sunday.

The ISP announced the end of its "breathe freely" package, which charged £50 for lifelong Internet access, on Friday after weeks of rumour. It is now up for sale, with reports suggesting that it could collapse into receivership within two weeks.

Trading standards are reported to be investigating Breathe's decision not to refund the £50 fee to customers.

In an email sent to the 50,000 users of "breathe freely", the ISP blamed the introduction of BT's Friaco for the end of its unmetered scheme.

"Developments in the wider unmetered access market indicate that the only sustainable model for such services is based around Friaco ("Flat Rate Internet Access and Call Origination"). This imposes a regular monthly subscription fee on the ISP who, in turn, has to pass on this cost to end users. This has resulted in a general market-wide correction of unmetered tariff offers now that the economics of such services have become clearer," the statement read.

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