The war to become the cheapest broadband survivor claimed its first victim yesterday, as low-cost service provider ET Global Solutions ceased trading and closed its website.

The company has been offering its broadband services for £20 a month, making it one of the cheapest providers on the market, a price that it obviously could not sustain.

Low-cost, but better-established, provider Gio has taken over the company's database and will be contacting all existing customers in due course.

Customers will be able to transfer to Gio's £17.99-a -month package, or can simply switch to a provider of their choice. Customers that have paid for services they have not received will be offered two months’ free service from Gio, but they must sign up to a three-month contract first.

"The demise of ET Global raises fears over the financial stability of similar low-cost ISPs operating as resellers of other service providers without the appropriate financial backing, management and technical know-how to provide a good level of long term service," said broadband watchdog, ADSL Guide on its website.

"In our conversations with these providers they insist their model is sustainable but, as we have seen, taking the word of a company is questionable, particularly new companies with no track history to back up their plans," it added.

Anyone who has paid for services they have not received should contact their credit card company or bank immediately to stop payment. Those customers that did not pay via card to have further queries should contact the company's liquidators, R W Keating, directly on 01925 245 004.