UK telecoms watchdog Oftel is still in lengthy discussions with BT over its proposed pay-as-you surf service, Click, which the telephone operator claims will still go live on 1 October.
Click will offer customers direct access to the Internet without having to subscribe to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and is expected to add around one pence per minute onto the cost of a local call.
The service has already come under heavy criticism from ISPs who are worried about the impact it will have on their business.
They are also expressing concern that it will provide an easy route for illegal Internet business because criminals will be almost impossible to trace. BT maintains the service will expand the Internet market, enabling newcomers to sample the Internet at a low cost and without commitment.
An Oftel spokesman confirmed that it has been having talks for some time over the proposed service following concerns raised by industry bodies such as the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA). "BT has yet to formally represent the final service, so we cannot make any decisions until then," he added. "BT ran a small trial of the service but, like all trials, it does not mean it will be the final service launched."
Oftel declined to comment on BT's plans to take the service live next month. "All I can say is we have yet to be notified," said the watchdog's spokesperson.
BT Click differs from other ISP accounts in that it has no registration, connection charges, premium number or log on, which means people using the service are non-traceable. BT claims it will overcome this by putting in a tracking system to trace users.
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