Ionica: BT to the rescue


BT has announced that it has agreed to aid the funding of Ionica, for a period of up to three months, to help prevent 60,000 Ionica customers losing telephone service, including 999 cover, during the winter months.

BT's funding of Ionica's operations, at a cost of some 3 million, will ensure an orderly transition of customers to BT and other service providers. BT will contact each customer to offer connection to the BT network.

BT believes that it will make a significant saving in its own operating costs by averting a situation where 60,000 customers would be seeking connections on the same day because of the possible shutdown of the Ionica network.

Ionica plc went into administration on October 29, 1998, after heavy losses and an unsuccessful attempt to attract the major additional funding it needed to continue in business.

Ionica's customers will be offered BT's standard range of services. They will also be free to switch to other providers should they so wish.