People who want to read content from the Times and Sunday Times online will have to pay £1 a day or £2 for a week's access from June.

News International has announced the pricing and timeline for what is likely to be a highly-debated move behind a paywall, confirming previous stories that June would see a fee come in.

News International's chief executive Rebekah Brooks told the BBC that it was a "a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition."

Separating

Times Online will split into separate sites for separate Sunday Times and Times sites in May, but payment will allow access to both sites when the fee comes in.

"[We are] at a defining moment for journalism, added Brooks. "We are proud of our journalism and unashamed to say that we believe it has value.

"This is just the start. The Times and the Sunday Times are the first of our four titles in the UK to move to this new approach.

"We will continue to develop our digital products and to invest and innovate for our customers."

The Sun

The Sun, the next News International title likely to disappear behind a paywall, took the opportunity to run a column from broadcaster John Humphrys backing payment for online content.

"We must not put the papers at risk by thinking we do not have to pay for them," concludes Humphrys.

The debate will rage on about whether a paid-for model can work for an internet community used to free content, and many will watch with interest to see if the Times' move is successful.