An Alton, England-based company that has grand plans to offer free Internet information in towns and cities across the UK announced Thursday that it has signed a $31.4 million (US$) deal with NCR (NYSE: NCR) to provide 3,500 Internet kiosks.
TownpagesNet.com (AMEX: TPN) said the exclusive agreement calls for NCR to build and maintain the kiosks at public access sites across the UK. The company said, when complete, its network would be the first online grid in the British Isles and the first to offer free access to users.
“The partnership between ourselves and NCR marks a significant milestone in the ongoing development of UK providers of online information,” said TownpagesNet Managing Director, Andrew Lyndon-Skeggs. “Together, I am confident that we will create a network that delivers unrivalled geographical coverage and an exceptional range of services.”
TownpagesNet said it expects that the kiosks will help increase Internet traffic in the UK significantly. The company claims in a statement that 18 percent of the UK is hooked up to the Internet. Other estimates vary from as low as 8 percent to as high as 20 percent.
Information At A Touch
The company’s Web site offers a wide range of information on 1,300 towns and cities across the UK. From the bustling streets of London to the rolling hills of the North Country, the company’s in-depth information highlights each community with news, weather, events, entertainment listings, business services and more.
UK users can also access an expanding range of national sites. The company is developing shopping, travel, health, sport, education and other topic-specific channels later this year.
TownpagesNet has been a company on the go this year. In May, it completed a successful $22 million IPO on the AMEX exchange. It was said to be the first European-owned Internet company flotation on a U.S exchange.
In the last month the company has acquired a cinema hosting site, for $6 million, and it has signed letters on intent to acquire Morbria Ltd. and Bowden Publishing.