LineOne clocks up 400,000 users

After joining the free-ISP gold rush, LineOne finds it has become a contender.

LineOne, BT's free ISP, announced Tuesday it has clocked up 400,000 subscribers making it Britain's sixth biggest ISP, according to research firm Dataquest.

The service, which launched in April 1997 and went free in March of this year, now equals AOL's long-established CompuServe, which has been stuck on 400,000 users for nearly two years.

LineOne managing director Ajay Chowdhury is delighted by the figures and expects even more members with the launch of an instant messaging feature, due Wednesday, and voice email, due next week. On the instant messaging debacle, Chowdhury is optimistic AOL will open its source code in the near future. "We are waiting for AOL to see the light. The pressure is on them to do it and I would be surprised if they did not make instant messaging platform neutral soon," he says.