Ondigital subscribers will get an interactive service from next year, kicking off with email.
The digital broadcaster, which is jointly owned by Carlton and Granada, plans to roll out its interactive service during 2000 to include Internet access and travel services. The move is designed to fight off competition from its competitor Open, which was set up by BskyB with British Telecom and HSBC.
The email service will be free of charge to Ondigital subscribers, but they will have to register and splash out £30 on a specially designed remote control with a Qwerty keypad.
"Customers will be able to pick the services they want in the same way they do with their TV," explained a spokesperson for Ondigital.
Ondigital subscribers receive the digital service through a normal aerial, a set-top box and a phone connection.
The 12 month old service currently has almost 500,000 subscribers who are paying upwards of £9.99 a month for the service depending on the package they want.
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