Integrator Watford Electronics has revealed bullish growth plans for a scheme it has launched as an alternative to the now defunct Home Computing Initiative (HCI).
The firm has partnered with Microsoft, Intel, LG and BT Wholesale to develop the scheme, which is due to go live next week.
The scheme centres on a broadband service created by Watford called Redten Internet. It will be offered to end-users for £19.99 a month over a three-year period, with a free LG PC thrown in. It will be marketed at companies that can then offer the broadband/PC package to their employees.
Speaking exclusively to CRN, Shiraz Jessa, managing director of Watford, claimed 100,000 end-users will join the scheme over the next year.
“The LG PC is Vista-ready and comes with a three-year labour-and-parts warranty,” he said. “We will also offer free training to those that sign up. For every month they are with us they will get free software worth £20. Our broadband service is pre-installed on the LG PC so that users can just plug and play.”
CRN revealed that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is investigating HCI alternatives that are emerging as the Treasury may still back a new scheme (CRN, 9 October).
Martin Prescott, managing director of Red PC Services, which launched its own alternative to HCI, said: “Watford’s scheme is not a replacement HCI scheme. There is no tax-efficiency element and finance arrangements are made directly with the end-user.”
Jessa responded: “We have priced it so that there is no tax-saving as such. Staff can still get a free PC which will enable home-working.”
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