Free computer with every broadband subscription!

This week the French telephone company, Neuf Cegetel, announced the purchase of AOL France, an ISP that counts 500.000 broadband subscribers & the arrival of “the box“, an Internet access terminal. Code-name: Easy Gate.

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It’s a computer, working under the OS, Linux. It’s a router. It’s a DSL modem. It’s also a telephone. All in one.

Easy Gate will be available from November, the actuel “box” consists of: an Intel 852 GM, 6 ports USB 2.0, 512 MB of RAM and 512 MB of Flash memory, for a guarantee of 150 euros & 39,95 euros per month. An extra100 euros buys a flat screen, webcam, keyboard & mouse.

Article source TOOLinux (french)

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With this service, Neuf Cegetel, busy preparing its introduction onto the the stock exchange in October, hopes to conquer new customers who still hesitate over using the Internet, dicouraged by the complexity of computers.

There are 10.5 millions broadband users in France, an average figure in Euopean terms, on the other hand France is lagging behind in actual PC’s, with just over 50% of households equipped.

Neuf Cegetel press release

A spokeman for Neuf Cegetel stated: “After installation, the user has a broadband connection & the principle functions of a computer via a simplified, user-friendly interface, reducing the complexity of using a computer as an Internet tool”.

ps: the hotline & after-sales services will be free – no doubt a lesson learned from AOL.

21 thoughts on “Free computer with every broadband subscription!”

  1. An interesting move showing the trend towards simplification of everything the user could have to work with – even if this is probably not going to help computer literacy up any notch.

    Are we going to see a “ISP-custom computer fad” after the ISP-custom modem/router/tv/VoIP solution” in France and maybe all over the world ? Possible. Here’s hoping, however, that the quality of service provided by the major non-historical ISPs in France (Le Neuf of course, but also Free whose record-breaking in unhappy customers rates was part of the reason why the French government demanded that hotlines waiting time be free) will increase due to this specifically tailored equipment : it seems that choosing a provider, even if economically profitable for the customer with prices as low as 20 euros, ressembles a party of russian roulette. You can never tell if your connection will work before you try it !

  2. Hi, or bonjour…
    2 commentaires pour peut-etre ameliorer ce site… Ne prenez pas mal, mais c’est juste deux trucs qui me passent pas la tete…

    1. lien vers Cegetel
    2. ou bien lien vers l’article ‘source’ de la trad ?

    Merci bcp,

    Matt

  3. @ Tom MAILLIOUX
    thanks for your comments, all very interesting. Thanks for taking the time and effort.

    ps:I’m with Free & had no idea about the “record-breaking unhappy customer rates & how they’re part of the reason why the French government demanded that hotlines waiting time be free”

  4. According to PC Inpact [pcinpact.com] (in French), it’s a custom distro, all open source, and it includes Firefox, Abiword, Gnumeric, GIMP, Gkview, Ekiga, MPlayer, and Bizanga, among other things.

  5. I live in the down town Pau what package can you offer me for internet and tv. I have my phone line connected but have not decided on an opperator.

    Thank you

    Sean

  6. Sorry Sean, not in the business of offering anyone ISP packages! ?

    I can say that I’ve used Free.fr for the last few years & never had a problem, although they do get some bad press occasionally.

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