'

ntl's completely free Internet access starts today

ntl shows BT how to offer a really compelling Internet solution with the early rollout of ntlworld... A TV Internet service will launch on 17 April

Cable company ntl has announced it is rolling out its completely free Internet access service Tuesday, nearly a week ahead of schedule. ntlworld was due to launch April 17 but the company says it is ready and able to offer the service now. A spokeswoman says, "We will be rolling out CDs for the service today. We'll be mailing them to people who have registered for the service in queue order. Some people may receive them as early as Wednesday." ntl crashed AltaVista's party last month, two days after the search giant announced its free access offering. Days later, ntl suffered a network outage as the rush to sign up for ntlworld reached a peak. The company is making no promises with Tuesday's announcement, but assures customers that its "network is very stable" and several tactics to deal with demand are in place to protect its system. "We're operating a very sensible system," adds the spokeswoman, "including a two hour cutoff." ntl is also set to deliver its TV Internet service on 17 April which is aimed at those who either do not have access to a PC at home or prefer to surf using the television. The spokeswoman says, "The TV Internet service is aimed at the 65% of the UK pop without a PC. All they need is a telephone line, either from BT or ntl, a TV and a set top box." There is a £10 a month charge for rental of the set top box but no telephone or ISP charges. Users should call (0800 952 43 43) to register for the TV service starting Monday 17th April. Ntlworld will be available nationwide, although consumers must change to ntl as their preferred telecoms provider. To do this ntl is providing an adaptor for £10, that diverts calls through ntl. Bills will be paid through BT. Pre-registration for the service began at 9am on Tuesday. ntl world: The facts at a glance:

  • Free Internet calls
  • Free ISP subscription
  • Free call connection
  • New TV-Internet service - available from 17 April
  • Free PC and TV-Internet options for every UK home via ntlworld
  • Registration for the TV service starts Monday 17 April by calling 0800 952 43 43.
Details, provided by ntl
  • Q. What is ntlworld?
  • A.
    • ntlworld is an easy - and free - route into the Internet which offers a range of features including:
    • 5 e-mail addresses
    • 10Mb web space
    • Access to news groups and a directory categorising over a million links
    • Access to seven dedicated NTL channels -- News and Weather, Sport, Shopping, Travel, Local, Entertainment and Knowledge

  • Q. Is NTL_s free Internet service available to everyone?
  • A. Yes. NTL's free PC and TV-Internet access is not restricted to its cabled areas: both are national services, available to anyone with an NTL or BT phone line.
  • Q. How do I become an NTL telephony customer?
  • A. There are two ways, either way, you'll get access to NTL's 3-2-1 (3p per minute weekdays, 2p per minute weekday evenings, 1p per minute weekends) residential telephony tariff and free ntlworld Internet service.
    • 1. If your home is linked to the NTL cable network, NTL offers a wide variety of cable TV and telephony packages priced from £9.25 per month.
    • 2. Outside these areas, you must have a BT phone line and will be asked to make a one-off £10 payment for a telephone adapter. This enables you to become a residential telephony customer using your existing BT phone line, and you will be required to spend at least £10 per month on non-Internet voice calls.

  • Q. What if I am a CWC customer?
  • A. ntlworld -- on PC or TV will also be available to CWC customers later this year.
  • Q. How do I register for NTL's free Internet service on PC?
  • A. The easiest way is to go on line at www.askntl.com, however customers can also call 0800 952 43 43 for free!
  • Q. How do I register for NTL's free Internet service on TV?
  • A. Lines open on Monday 17 April. Simply call 0800 952 43 43 It's free!
  • Q. How much does the TV Internet box cost?
  • A. There is a rental charge for the set-top box of £10 per month. The box plugs into the TV and phone socket, and is easy to install. A stylish infra-red keyboard is supplied with the box so that users can email from the sofa!
  • Q. Am I in an NTL area?
  • A. NTL cabled regions: Cardiff, Glasgow, Surrey and Hants, Midlands, Northern Ireland, Teesside, Kirklees and Cambridge. 5.6 million homes are within NTL's fibre-optic broadband network.
Free and unmetered internet access has been on the agenda for some time -- right now the battle is on. Go to AnchorDesk UK to get the news comment from Tony Westbrook. What do you think? Tell the Mailroom. And read what others have said. Take me to the Unmetered Access Special