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FRIACOFlat Rate Internet Access Call Origination (UK)
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Oftel began to investigate the Friaco payment arrangements in January.
BT already provides operators with FRIACO, a service which conveys Internet calls to BT's local exchanges.
Oftel has also required BT to take steps to ensure that its network will be able to meet all reasonable demand for ST FRIACO, without limitation, from February 2003.
AOL stated that the service was described as the first sustainable unmetered Internet access plan because AOL was the first ISP in the UK to have access to the BT FRIACO scheme in which ISPs are charged a flat rate for each customer, rather than for time spent online.
Available to order from 18 January 2001, BTnet SurfPort24 will offer a fully managed, end-to-end unmetered Internet access service, providing unlimited web access 24 hours per day for a quarterly port-based fee, using Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination (Friaco).
Based on FRIACO (Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination), the new service will give subscribers access to the Internet at any time of day or night for GBP12.99/month inclusive of subscription and telephone costs.
According to the companies claim that BT's FRIACO Hybrid product, introduced on 3 August, does not go far enough in offering an unmetered service.
In response, a BT spokesman said that its FRIACO offer was fully compliant with Oftel requirements but that the company was continuing to discuss the matter with other operators.
BT introduced a product called FRIACO (Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination) on 1 June and following a period of industry discussion this was amended to create FRIACO Hybrid, which has been available since 3 August.
The talks had focused on a hybrid version of Friaco, a method planned by BT to offer unmetered access to ISPs, according to