Firecrest soars after Energis access deal

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The Independent Online
Marketing and Internet company Firecrest climbed 28p to 203p yesterday, on news of a deal with Energis, the telephone company owned by the National Grid, writes Mathew Horsman.

The deal will initially allow 20,000 subscribers access to the Internet for the cost of a local call, but the limit can be raised at any time. The company said the service would provide coverage of 87 per cent of the UK immediately.

The service will cost pounds 7.99 per month, with no usage charges other than the price of a local call. For those subscribers on cable networks that provide free local calling, the Internet access will be free.

Firecrest shares started their recent rise last week, on news that the company had won the exclusive right to Digiphone, a US-developed technology that allows users to make long-distance telephone calls over the Internet for the price of a local call.

From just 67p, the shares rose to 158p last Friday.

Originally a marketing and promotions company, Firecrest branched out into Internet-related businesses last year, when it acquired Nethead, an access provider.

The company made pounds 415,000 last year, mainly from its music and marketing promotions in the national press.