AltaVista lies
August 22, 2000 5:55 AM   Subscribe

AltaVista lies to England about free net access. I am shocked that a company in the honorable net industry could think of such a scam! Shocked I say!
posted by Mick (6 comments total)
I'm astonished. As much respect as I have for The Register, I thought this was over-the-top criticism of an obviously late/underfunded/incompetent service, rather than exposure of out-and-out fraud. Now I'm not so sure.
posted by dhartung at 11:47 AM on August 22, 2000

I gotta say, this article takes a dangerously accusatory tone, as compared to another report about the situation... here I notice that the Register doesn't even mention the part about Altavista blaming BT for the issue...hmmm, does BT have a stake in The Register, or what?
posted by nomisxid at 2:04 PM on August 22, 2000

The Register has a separate story about AltaVista's allegations re BT. Check the links at the bottom of the page.
posted by wiremommy at 3:21 PM on August 22, 2000

thats insane. i use altavista alot both at work and at home - might not use it now. (sidenote: i take pride in working for the 2nd largest ISP in the country. CNET recently rated us the best in the USA...)
posted by craftytechsan at 7:27 PM on August 22, 2000

AV were bullshitting their customers for at least the past three months, since I was told in May about what was happening by a reliable "source in the industry". The company was expecting a tenth of the subscribers, which would have been an adequate loss-leader. With the numbers they actually got to sign up -- unsurprising given the per-minute call charges in the UK -- the people they'd subcontracted to handle the rollout were never likely to sustain an adequate level of service, and the projected loss was just too much.

No unmetered access. Barely any ADSL. The UK's claims to be "driving the internet economy" are basically pathetic. It's embarrassing.
posted by holgate at 10:43 PM on August 22, 2000

Also, I forgot: by pre-announcing when they did, Altavista UK completely scuppered the efforts of established ISPs to roll out unmetered access in an orderly way. There was a lot of negotiation going on with BT, and AV blew it out of the water with what was essentially vapourware. Lots of people in high places were very pissed off, with good reason. They didn't just fail to deliver to their own customers: they've set things back for customers of Freeserve, VirginNet and other ISPs that have been trying to migrate real customers from subscription-free models to unmetered access.
posted by holgate at 10:56 PM on August 22, 2000

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