Start-up Internet service provider Bigger.net has introduced unlimited Internet access for life to members who join it, taking America Online's popular flat fee charging offer one step further.
AOL and other Internet service providers will be concerned by Bigger.net's plans to introduce unlimited free Internet access to customers, who only have to pay a $59 charge to join for life. Relying on huge uptake and eventually advertising for its revenue, the company will even provide Netscape Navigator free to new members.
The company, backed by Netscape and Bay Networks, is launching in Silicon Valley on Friday but plans to expand across the US during 1997 and then to other countries from next year. But competitors doubt it will be able to handle the volume of online members - it expects the promise of free Internet access to attract 100,000 in six months.
Bigger.net is considering a charge of $10 per month for an email service but it hopes to find a way of supporting its free Internet service through massive advertising revenue. Chief executive Jeff Fortin expects to fill Bigger.net?s advertising windows when the service has been running for a few months. "Consumers will finally realise Internet access is not something that has to cost $300 a year," he said.
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