BT has abandoned plans to build one of the world's largest public Internet kiosk networks.

Initially, the telco giant planned to install 28,000 public multi-media kiosks, offering access to the Web, e-mail, SMS and traditional telephony, but has killed the program after installing only 1,300 because the demand wasn't there.

"It's always a good idea to give customers choice, and that's what this service is about," said a spokesman. "But for lack of demand, we've decided not to install any more kiosks." The company refused to say why it thought there had been a poor takeup but did concede that the kiosk service faced alternatives.

BT has no plans to axe any of the installed kiosks, although the company may relocate some of them to areas where it anticipates more demand.

The technology was supplied by the former troubled Marconi, which was acquired last year by Ericsson.