Breathe is to axe its unmetered internet service this weekend, blaming excessive use and an unviable business model.
The service, which was launched in March, will close on 10 December after Breathe claimed the operation became "unsustainable".
A restricted sign-up of 50,000 users had paid a one-off fee of £50. In July the ISP kicked off 500 customers which it claimed were exploiting the service by logging on for long periods.
Breathe said in a statement: "The decision will affect a small number of the total dial-up user base and has been taken as a result of excessive use over recent months, which has become unsustainable.
"Developments in the wider unmetered access market indicate that the only sustainable model for such services is based around Friaco [Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination]." Friaco is BT's wholesale tariff for offering rivals unmetered access over its lines.
Breathe's chief operating officer, Sean Gardner, told vnunet.com last month that the company is planning to launch a new unmetered package in the new year.
"We are definitely planning to introduce a new unmetered package next year," Gardner had said. "We have been planning this for several months but it is very much dependent on the availability of Friaco."
Many ISPs said it would be impossible to launch a true unmetered service until Friaco becomes widely available. At the end of last week, ISP Freeserve announced plans to launch a new unmetered internet access package in February which will be based on Friaco.
Breathe said it has set up helplines accessible on 0845 330 2207 or 0845 330 2208, or via email at [email protected] Further information on how to access email and services will be available from http://www.breathe.com/help/freely.html later this afternoon.
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