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MediaTel Staff 

Beeb Joins Up With Scottish Telecom To Launch Free ISP

Beeb.com, the BBC's commercial web service, has joined forces with Scottish Telecom to provide a free ISP called FreeBeeb.net. The service is to be available from the summer, and will enable users to gain free access to the internet and email.

Scottish telecom, which owns Demon Net, will provide the technology and infrastructure behind the web network, and Beeb.Com will provide the content. The online project will not use up public funds as it is being developed by the british broadcaster's commercial service BBC Worldwide.

The venture joins a proliferation of free ISPs to recently come onto the market, for example, Dixon's Freeserve, News International's CurrantBun and TescoNet (see Newsline). The BBC's front running position as both a respected editorial brand and public broadcaster will no doubt attract users to FreeBeeb.com, and unlike the exisitng free ISPs, FreeBeeb.com will not feature advertising on its home page. Rupert Gavin, chief executive of BBC Worldwide, is confident that the trusted brand will provide an incentive for customers to take advantage of the free internet offer for the price of a local phone call.

The venture will create upwards of 100 jobs in the coming months, and Rupert Miles, director of beeb.com, commented: "Providing free internet access through FreeBeeb.net is a natural extension of our success at providing entertaining content to the online world."

BBC: 0181 576 7789 Scottish Telecom: 0141 636 4515

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