Freeserve: The Pioneer in Free ISPs in Europe

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR092 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1998 - 2001
Organization : Freeserve, Wanadoo
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : Europe
Industry : Internet, Telecommunication


This case deals with the strategy adopted by the Internet Service Provider, Freeserve, to stay ahead of the competition. Freeserve was launched by Dixons, a consumer electronics chain of stores in UK, in 1998. It pioneered a subscription-free Internet service in Europe. The case takes a look at how the ISP worked.

It goes on to describe its IPO and its huge initial success. It then elaborates on the ISP's operational model, including the various schemes and services it provided, and eventually discusses its downturn. It concludes with a detailed explanation of Freeserve's acquisition by the French Telecom company, Wanadoo.

It provides a note on the revival of Freeserve after its takeover.


Understand the working of free Internet Service Providers

Examine the pros and cons of providing Internet Service


  Page No.
Freeserve's Free Fall 1
Background 2
Freeserve's Business Model 3
Freeserve's Decline 5
Exhibits 8


Strategy, Internet Service Provider, Freeserve, competition, Freeserve, Dixons, consumer electronics, chain, UK, 1998, subscription-free, Internet service, Europe, ISP, IPO, operational model, acquisition, French Telecom Wanadoo

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