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Virgin joins the unmetered party

Yet another free Internet offering is announced

Jumping on the free Internet bandwagon, Virgin Net announced on Tuesday that it will offer "a competitive" service to be trialled next month. However, the company admits that it will not be totally free.

The free access model, adopted by Freeserve, Virgin and other ISPs, is has been threatened by AltaVista's nearly free and ntl's completely free services, according to experts.

Virgin welcomes the offerings. "We're looking closely at both AltaVista's and ntl's unmetered access packages. They both sound like great news for people that access the Internet through PCs, but they now have to deliver on the promise," said managing director, Alex Heath, in a statement.

According to a Virgin spokesman, the ISP is about to offer a similar service. "The trial will begin in April. The details are still being worked out, but it is likely to be subscription-based," he said. "It will be competitive to those announced this week."

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