*AltaVista Terminates Flat-Rate Access Deal in UK

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Less than six months after announcing that it would offer flat-rate Internet access in the United Kingdom, AltaVista has changed its mind. AltaVista said this week that it was abolishing plans to offer its proposed service, blaming Britain's dominant telecommunications carrier for the decision.

"The current state of the U.K. telecom market has not enabled the company to deliver an unmetered service within the time scales originally planned," AltaVista said in a statement.

British Telecommunications has a monopoly on fixed-line telecommunications into the home in most areas. The company did not offer a wholesale unmetered product to ISPs at the time AltaVista announced its plan.

Though British Telecommunications has since offered unmetered access for customers surfing the Net at peak times, AltaVista said that the delay in providing flat-rate circuits convinced it to terminate the deal.

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