Academic portal builder ingenta has struck an "anytime, anywhere" content deal with Freeserve, the number one free internet service provider in the United Kingdom.
The two companies will produce and distribute a CD-Rom that will enable academics and students to access academic portal services through Freeserve's free internet service.
Mark Rowse, ingenta chief executive, said that the deal would allow users to log on to the internet from wherever they were in the UK and access the BIDS services. They would also be able to navigate through a wide variety of Freeserve's own content, tailored for students and higher education staff.
Mr Rowse said: "All of the UK's two million researchers and students can now work away from their campus networks with free internet access, and still use their BIDS usernames and passwords as if they were in the library.
"As around 40 per cent of students now have their own PC or laptop, this development will help to relieve the pressure on library PC resources."
Mr Rowse said his company would be lobbying the government with other industry groups for them to put pressure on the telecoms and cable companies to introduce flat-rate pricing structures for internet connection.