Want a broadband experience for a dial-up price?
Steve Kirsch, the founder of a Silicon Valley company called Propel, has claimed that this kind of broadband connection could extend the life of the dial-up marketplace.
"We reduce the need for people to go to broadband," he said.
Kirsch made his millions by selling two of his previous startups, Frame and Infoseek, to Adobe and Disney respectively.
Now, as chief executive of Propel, he believes he has a subscription-based service that will appeal to consumers who do not want pay the high price for broadband but who are frustrated by the slow pace of dialup.
The Propel Accelerator is targeting dial-up consumers - of whom there are an estimated 50 million in the US alone, according to Morgan Stanley research.
For a subscription fee of around $5 a month or $50 a year, a user can download Propel's client software.
This software links a user's browser to Propel's servers. When the user goes to a page s/he visits regularly the software downloads only new text as the 'reference text' will already reside on the PC. The result is a dramatic decrease in download time.
Kirsch said that Accelerator could reduce by half the time it takes to download a .jpg or .gif file.
Kirsch is planning tie-ups with internet service providers to promote the Accelerator along with its dial-up service.
But, the entrepreneur said, the biggest problem he faces at the moment is that people did not believe his company's claims that Accelerator can make downloads at least five times faster than before.
"We are thinking we will scale back our claims so people will believe us," he said.
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