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NetZero Launches 'Free' Wireless Broadband

NetZero said Monday that it has entered the market for a "free" wireless broadband service - for the moment until a year is up.

The Internet in the late 1990s

For those old enough to have surfed the Internet in the late 1990s, the NetZero name will be a familiar one. At that time, the company offered free dialup service, nevertheless one that was slow and forced the user to view ads. Now, NetZero says that its new service will forego those ads, to all appearances making money from its monthly fees. NetZero as well tried out one of the first VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services, offering free calling over broadband connections.

The slower plans are automatically routed onto the 1-Mbit data rate, which NetZero calls "LightSpeed," during the faster plans receive the faster, 10-Mbit/s "WarpSpeed" connection. The service uses the Clear network, whose coverage map shows that it as a matter of fact only blankets some of the nation's major metropolitan areas.

The digital divide

"NetZero is bridging the digital divide by letting consumers purchase a secure, quality, mobile broadband service at very affordable prices with plans designed to meet the consumers' data needs," said Mark R. Goldston, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of United Online, the company that owns the NetZero brand. "Our service gives clients the freedom to take the Internet anywhere in our coverage area, without being tied to public Wi-Fi service or having to purchase higher-cost, at times multi-year plans offered by other mobile broadband providers. With NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband, there are no contracts or commitments."

More information: Pcmag
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