Robert Freeman's whole Media, Business and Technology thing. Sorted. stops completely

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My only email account to never receive a single spam message will disappear

In 1999 with the sudden appearance of ‘free’ dial-up based internet accounts, I joined – “Free internet access from the BBC”.

Here’s the original BBC News Online story (note the original publishing template – in all probability I worked on this story!)

Although I’m something of an email address tart, I’ve consistently used this address ever since (although I would only dial the access number about 4 times a year just to make sure the account stays valid).

The service is one of the few with full POP/SMTP access, which means I can use email software like Outlook and Thunderbird to access the email in my account. I’ve been using it on my N95 phone most recently.

So I was a little bit sad, although unsurprised to get an email into that account last week telling me that it’s all finishing. Here’s the detail direct from has been through various stages of closedown since the bubble burst, probably the most significant happening in 2002.

It’s been a little bit of internet history, which I’m surprised isn’t being reported, perhaps because the number of users is now so miniscule that no one has noticed that it’s been working up till now, even though it’s since offered broadband accounts.

At the end of June, spare a thought for a internet pioneer. There were many other free ISPs at the time (in the hundreds!) but none with quite the same name and brand associations.

It wasn’t the BBC Micro, but did help tens of thousands of people to get online during a critical period of growth for the internet.

If you also found the full POP/SMTP access helpful, livehacker has a post of how to do the same thing with gmail.


Written by Robert

17 April, 2008 at 7:05 am

Posted in General, Media

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