The US, this time following the UK’s lead, is on the verge of a free Internet frenzy.
Online shopping site Worldspy is this week planning to offer access to the Internet not only free of charge, but also free of advertising, in a move designed to lure US customers to its site. The service is slated to go live on October 1.
US analysts and telcos have frequently said free Internet access would not happen in their country because local calls were free, unlike in Europe.
Worldspy’s quirky approach is the latest effort by US retailers to offer “free” online access to consumers, jumping on the band wagon set off by PC makers.
Worldspy is using its novel approach in a bid to build up a million subscribers within 12 months, which would put it amongst the top 10 ISPs in the US.
Worldspy maintains there are no catches to its service in terms of asking for personal information or targetting them with product pitches.
Worldspy, abandoning the common advertising revenue approach, is hoping to make money from commissions on transactions made at its retail site, where comparision shopping will be available. It believes its independent stance in not posting advertising will be enough to draw in consumers.
Only last month Altavista took the opposite approach to Worldspy and offered customers free Internet access in the US if they were willing to view ads. Microsoft is also rumoured to be working on a free US Internet access model.
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