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December 29, 1999

Lycos, Access Power Take VoIP to Europe

By CBR Staff Writer

Lycos IncÆs European joint venture is to bring a rebranded version of flat-rate voice over IP from Access Power Inc to the continent, under a deal announced. The PC-to-phone service will cost a flat 13 pounds ($20.88) per month for unlimited calls to fixed line phones in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, Ireland, Luxembourg, the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida-based Access Power makes and markets Net.Caller, introduced in April this year, in the US, and only last week opened the doors for branding and marketing partners such as Lycos to offer the service. It also offers phone-to-phone IP telephony and a software that allows companies to place VOIP contact buttons on web sites. The firm is traded on the over the counter market in New York.

Lycos Bertelsmann GmbH is an established joint venture of Lycos and Bertelsmann. The firm operates web portals in the aforementioned European countries, and the service will be rolled out there as a Lycos-branded product aimed at consumers who make a lot of international calls.

Users in Europe will have to pay the cost of accessing the internet on top of this, which is generally metered and costs the equivalent of around $0.02 per minute off peak in most places. In the UK, for example, price-conscious internet users can expect to pay 1 pence ($0.016) per minute for dialup if calling off-peak or with certain price plans, and a call to the US with a long-distance carrier would cost around 3 pence ($0.048). This means this particular user would have to make 650 minutes of calls to the US per month to make a saving.

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