The company is set to extend free Internet access to small businesses with the launch of BT Access on Monday. It will provide 20Mb of Web space, ten e-mail addresses and will give access to BT's Click for Business website. BT hopes customers will like the subscription-free service enough to upgrade to its £12 a month BT Connect service, it also hopes to attract the two-thirds of small businesses that do not use the Internet. But Dennis Keeling, BASDA chief executive, said small businesses were more interested in quick response times than a free service which could only be achieved by separating business and casual Internet access paths. Keeling, said: 'Usually during the afternoon the Internet dries up due to the US waking up and youngsters sitting on the Internet after school. 'This creates major bottlenecks for businesses and pathetic performance times. Businesses would rather have quick response times and wouldn't mind paying for a service that did not waste time. The bandwidth is already available to separate the two paths.' Keeling said he expected a raft of rival software providers such as Sage and Microsoft to follow in developing free Internet access to small businesses. BT head of Internet for business, Grant Broster, confirmed the BT Access service would not provide a faster service. But he added: 'We are providing a method of enabling businesses to get in touch with more customers more frequently. Eventually we will see different grades of Internet service which will include a variety of speeds of service.'
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