AltaVista chief quits

The UK managing director of internet service provider AltaVista has paid for his failure to provide an unmetered service for the company's customers by resigning from his job.

The UK managing director of internet service provider AltaVista has paid for his failure to provide an unmetered service for the company's customers by resigning from his job.

Andy Mitchell led the US Web portal on what is now seen as a damaging foray into the world of service providing only to have to admit last week that they were not going to be able to provide either service they had promised.

AltaVista said it will now return to its core business of providing an internet search engine.

AltaVista caused upheaval in March in the British Internet access market, which is dominated by Freeserve, when it announced what would have been a ground breaking service in a country where phone calls are paid for by the minute.

AltaVista, majority owned by Internet incubator,CMGI, appointed Stephanie Himoff as acting managing director.

AltaVista still offers Internet access in Britain, but on a pay-per-minute basis like most other providers.

Freeserve and other larger players that announced unmetered packages in AltaVista's wake say they will continue them, though other smaller providers have had to cancel or restrict their services too, saying they were uneconomical.

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