~ ~ You guys and gals over in the good old U.K. are really spoilt for choice when it comes to your choice of Internet Service Providers. I was browsing through the "dooyoo" sub-headings under this category, and was absolutely astounded by the choice and diversity you have when it comes to getting on-line. ~ ~ As my regular readers will know, I live here in Dublin, Ireland. We are supposedly the European home for all the major players in the computer and related industries. But NOT for ISP's it would appear. ~ ~ I have been on-line now for about the last five years. In all this time I have used the same ISP, that is, until the last couple of weeks or so. But more on this later. I joined up to "Indigo Ireland", which is a subsiduary company of Eircom (the largest telecom company in the State) at a time when ISP's were still charging on a monthly basis for access, never mind the telephone costs. My initial outlay was £10.50 per month, plus a call charge of 11p for three minutes during peak hours, and 11p for 10 minutes at off-peak rates. ~ ~ Shortly thereafter Indigo instigated a "surf free" service, which was basically the same, except you no longer had to pay the £10.50 per month. I got a bit cute here!! I signed up for the "surf free" and cancelled my subscription to the pay service, but there was an overlap of one month, when I was actually subscribed to both. They then supplied an "0891" number to paying customers, which was better than their local access number, as it was not so busy and also cost less, at a call rate of 0.8p per minute at any time of the day. Yep. You guessed it. I hung onto the "0891" number and used it to access the service through my new "surf free" account. I've been doing this ever since, and no one would appear to have "copped on", as we say in Ireland. ~ ~ However, you can apprec
iate how expensive this has worked out for me over the years, even at the reduced rate. I am a freelance journalist, and use the "web" extensively for my research, and more recently to access sites like "dooyoo". So I was delighted to discover a new ISP about ten days ago, who are offering "unlimited" access during off-peak hours for an all-in flat charge of £20 per month. They are called IOL, Ireland On Line, but the wierd thing is they are also a subsiduary company of Eircom. ~ ~ Ah well. I suppose I must be thankful for small mercies. Eircom have just been bought by Vodaphone, the giant UK telecom company, so maybe we will start getting a better deal here in the "Emerald Isle" fairly soon.
Indigo is one of the most established and innovative ISP's in Ireland. Usually the first to introduce the latest in net access (recently started Irelands first "Online Supermall- haven't tried it yet but they offer free delivery for whatever you buy and the range in the shop is big!), I've found them to be excellent! When I first started surfing everyone charged a monthly fee here, and Indigo were the most reasonable. Then they introduced GoFree, and pushed every ISP in Ireland to provide free access. Indigo's Free service is excellent, you still must pay for the local call although this may (hopefully) change soon. Although you only get one email address on this, subscribe to monthly fees and they're unlimited. Everyone gets 20mb of webspace. For users in business hours they offer access on a Lo-Call number to save even more money during peak hours. GoFree provides really excellent customer support by phone or email. Access is very good and there's rarely any trouble getting and staying connected. The Indigo homepage however, has changed a lot. It was always a really useful portal site in itself and the it was funky and attractive looking and linked up to all the best search engines on the net. Now they have redesigned it, cut down on menus and search links and it's almost completely geared to the brand new Indigo Supermall online shop,we'll forgive them though as that looks to be a pretty cool service. All I ask now is they provide a Free phone access number!