- British Telecom is bolstering its net offer to customers by offering a complete internet package including computer, software, installation and free weekend access to the web.
The deal, which will cost £25.99 a month, will tie in customers for three years until the computer is paid for, effectively preventing them from switching to rival internet service providers.
The computer is supplied by Japanese electronics giant, Fujitsu. If customers pay in full at the beginning of the three years, they will pay £751.50 for the package. Should they pay the monthly instalments, they will have paid £935.64.
John Swingewood, director of BT internet and multimedia services, said research revealed that the process of choosing and setting a computer up, and then getting a service provider and going online was a daunting experience for most consumers and was stopping more from going online. He also added that unmetered calls for internet access were an inevitability. "The concept of subscription charges with unlimited calls will be the model. We are currently talking about the introduction of free access in evenings as well as weekends."