Freeserve last night stopped new registrations for its "unlimited access" internet service.

The company blamed heavier than anticipated usage of the service for the temporary suspension, after existing customers were unable to dial in.

Energis - Freeserve’s telecoms supplier – is said to have increased the network’s capacity.

A few weeks ago, Freeserve’s boss John Pluthero attacked BT for its tardiness in getting its local exchanges ready for Surftime - a delay limiting the company to connecting 2,000 new flat-fee customers a day, according to Pluthero.