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Broadband campaigners get free Web sites

Eclipse Internet has launched a campaign package for business groups, communities and individuals
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

People desperate to bring broadband to their local area may be interested in an offer from Eclipse Internet -- a free Web site for them to run a campaign from.

Eclipse announced on Thursday that it was launching a "complete campaign package" for business groups, communities, individuals and even Chambers of Commerce.

As well as a Web site, the offer also includes marketing material such as leaflets and posters that people can use to drive interest in high-speed Internet services. It follows the launch of Eclipse's We Want Broadband site earlier this year.

"Our sponsorship package is an ideal opportunity for local campaigners to launch broadband lobby Web sites with minimal effort using a template that is both informative and impartial," said Jomie Carmichael, co-founder and director of Eclipse Internet, in a statement.

"This new initiative has the potential to help drive local campaigns towards the ultimate goal of enabling broadband in their area," Carmichael added.

BT launched a similar scheme to help broadband rollout last month with its campaign in a box", which let people order promotional leaflets and posters, get in touch with other activists, and also gave advice on how to get a campaign up and running.

Many activists have already managed to hit the broadband trigger level of their local telephone exchange through actively encouraging fellow local residents to pre-register for broadband. Web sites have played a crucial role in many of these campaigns.

Eclipse told ZDNet UK that Web sites set up under its scheme will be supported for as long as it takes for a campaign to succeed -- good news for anyone lumbered with a particularly high trigger level.

The sites will have a URL that is a subdomain of the We Want Broadband site, for example www.exeter.wewantbroadband.co.uk. Other domain names would be supported, but users would have to pay for their registration themselves.

All broadband pre-registrations achieved by these campaign sites will be passed onto Eclipse, putting it in a strong position to acquire new customers as exchanges are upgraded to offer ADSL.

"However, it should be highlighted that this is merely a registration of interest and not a commitment of purchase with Eclipse," the ISP explained, adding that sites will also give people the opportunity to learn about other service providers.

To encourage people to take up its offer, Eclipse Internet is offering a free ADSL modem to the first 20 groups to sign up. Points will also be awarded to campaign groups when they get people to pre-register, which can then be exchanged for broadband services from Eclipse.

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