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back to article Dotcom icon ISP Breathe inhales Fast4

Breathe Networks Limited (BNL) has acquired small ISP Fast4 for an undisclosed sum. The merger will see Fast4 bosses Steve Kaye and Nick Pulsford become Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technical Officer of BNL. Fast4 will survive as an independent brand. Kaye said: "Fast4 users will not experience any changes as Fast4 has …

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"Fast4 users will not experience any changes"

While I was on Fast4 they went from a very fast reliable unlimited service to a slow unreliable limited service with severe traffic shaping.

Maybe they've hit rock bottom now and can't change any more.

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@ Geoff Gordon

I started my broadband life with MacUnlimited. - great service and support.

Somehow it became NetAccess - reasonable service - average support.

Then it was acquired by Breathe - crap service and even crappier support.

It took 2 months to get a MAC from Breathe so that I could move on.

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Thumb Down

As a former Breathe employee..........

I was sometimes responcible for explaining to people why their internet access had been cut off when "Breathe Freely" went belly up - that was were you pay a £50 one off fee and get free internet for ever.

The official line was to tell people that the service was scrapped but that they'd mostly have paid more than £50 during that time that it was working if they'd been paying BT costs. Some people paid £50 and got days worth of unlimited access as they were still taking subscriptions until the cut off date.

Wasn't so bad for me but people would threaten the minimum wage girls on the Customer Service desks with coming round to the Warrington HO and getting their £50 back.

The reason it went down was that Breathe (owned by Martin Dawes at that point) bought bandwidth from Opal Telecoms (also owned by Martin Dawes at that point) and seriously under estimated how much people would use. First quarter bill comes in from Opel and Breathe cut off all the "heavy users". Second bill comes in and the whole scheme got pulled. And because of a small print condition, they could legally do it whenever they felt like.

As a side note, everybody who paid by CC got their details put into an unpassword protected MS Excel spreadsheet with address details, expiry date etc which was available to all employees if they needed to check payment details....hardly secure.

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Unhappy

Won't somebody think of the poor shareholder!?

The article fails to mention that Affinity Internet Holdings also went t*ts up. As a shareholder at the time I remember it well! Can I recommend that Breathe is put in a CGI crate somewhere in Hanger 51 a la Indiana Jones, so it's power for bringing doom and despair is controlled.

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Tim

Amazing things happen when you breathe!

My wife worked for the aforementioned breathe when they were selling their unlimited dialup for £50 a pop with no guarantee that the connection contract would be honoured. If the user was deemed to use too much bandwidth, they were booted out, losing their £50 in the process and not being allowed back on again.

As there was no firm (or obvious) "excessive use" policy, it was down to the management to decide who was excessively using the account, and to get the wife to give 'em the bad news. Clearly this backfired when the poor saps then asked to speak to managers, who promply capitulated and gave them the connection back. Suits! you cant trust them.

The company was set up by Martin Dawes (yes, that Martin Dawes) and he swanned around in his Bentley, trousering the £50 per person and then finding the lamest excuses to cancel connections. The wife left the company when she saw what direction it was going. Strange then that Dawes first comms company succeeded so spectacularly, to the extent that it became one of O2's primary call centres. Just shows that success is not always down to the so-called leader (as Alan Sugar has also ably demonstrated with numerous crappy products that bombed, and can you say "Sir Clive Sinclair"?).

So, Do amazing things happen when you breathe? erm, no not really. Seems that the only amazing thing that happens is that the current breathe can claim any connection whatsoever to those natty adverts that wooed and confused the nation back in the day.

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