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Skype to charge connection fee

In a prime example of marketing doublespeak, VoIP provider Skype has announced a new service and pricing structure that will see users charged a connection fee.

According to Thursday’s announcement, the firm will now charge for something that was once free, with a Eur0.039 fee for each SkypeOut connection.

However, if customers take out a Eur2 per month subscription to the new premium service, SkypePro, they can carry on connecting for free as well of doing lots of other fancy stuff.

It looks like Skype users who feel aggrieved have three options; they can bite the bullet and cough up for connections – Eur0.039 is not likely to break the bank – switch service provider or take up of the offer of becoming a Skype Pro customer.

However, Skype Pro is not quite available just yet. Initially focused on Europe, Skype’s new pricing strategy “will roll out worldwide during 2007.”

The Skype Unlimited Calling plan in the US and Canada and the Talk for Britain campaign in the UK do not include a connection fee for national calls.

As a part of the premium package the global dialing rate to a number of countries is reduced. This includes a reduction in global dialing rates to Eur0.017 per minute for: Czech Republic, Guam, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii. Skype reckons this represents a reduction of up to 65 per cent for some countries.

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