RealTime IT News

BellSouth.net Tops Half-Million Mark

Southeastern Internet provider BellSouth.net Wednesday announced it has reached the 500,000 subscriber milestone.

The regional ISP has doubled its customer base every year since its inception. BellSouth.net Internet service currently offers Internet access in 47 markets across the Southeast.

The exponential growth of BellSouth's subscriber base is the result of the company offering aggressive pricing on unlimited Internet access for just under $13 a month, when customers sign up for BellSouth's Complete Choice calling plan.

"In a little over a month, nearly 60,000 BellSouth customers have signed up for the package combining BellSouth.net service and Complete Choice said" Terry Yarbrough, senior director of product marketing, BellSouth Consumer Services.

Ray Smets, president of BellSouth.net, believes that the one-bill bundling of communications service makes it easy for customers to stay with BellSout.net.

"Quarter-after-quarter BellSouth.net has produced substantial growth of our client base. We started offering services in August 1996. BellSouth.net finished 1997 with 150,000 customers. In 1998 we finished the year with 350,000 customers and during the first four months of this year our base has crested over 500,000 Internet users. I'd have to say we doing something right."

Smets said the company strives to keep customer churn low through the effective marketing of bundled telephone and Internet services and by providing consumer-friendly interaction at every point of contact with customers.

Continued growth of the ISP's consumer base is also due to achieving consistent high marks for customer service and reliability.

"We have seen a surge in new customers in the past six months from our aggressive marketing efforts and continue to rapidly grow the business through excellent service and a quality product - not through acquisition," said Ray Smets, president of BellSouth.net Inc.

"Customers are choosing us for our dedication to their total online experience. In fact, nine out of 10 customers say they would recommend us to a friend."

According to Inverse Network Technology Inc., BellSouth.net Internet service earned an A+ rating in April for connecting its users to the Internet.

The company earned an A+ rating for its 24-hour call success rate, business-hour call success rate, evening-hour call success rate and modem connect speed. BellSouth.net showed improvement from the companies A rating in March 1999, on business-hour call success rates and B rating on evening-hour call success rates.