Legacy email accounts from mobile operator and internet service provider Orange (now part of EE and, hence, BT) are to be closed by the end of May.
Anyone with the following type of email addresses will therefore need to set-up an alternative before 31 May, as well as migrating any emails they wish to keep to an alternative provider:
The move will affect anyone running a Freeserve, Orange or Wanadoo account - Freeserve, founded by electrical retailer Dixons, having been acquired by French ISP Wanadoo, which was then owned by France Telecom, before the French national communications company swallowed up Orange and merged the two.
Freeserve was a huge success almost from the moment it was set-up in 1998 by Planet Online and Dixons, scooping up half-a-million subscribers in the space of just two months.
At a time when home internet access was purely dial-up, and subscribers paid both a monthly fee and per-minute call charge, Freeserve instead used a 0845 local-rate number from which it took a share and abolished the monthly subscription fee.
When it was floated on the London Stock Exchange just a year or so after it was founded, it had 1.3 million subscribers and was valued at between £1.3bn and £1.5bn. When it was acquired by France Telecom-owned Wanadoo in 2000, it had two million subscribers - more than BT, which is ultimately now the company closing the accounts.
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