RealTime IT News

LibertyBay Launches Nationwide

Recently, the price of Internet access has been driven down by free service offerings, but virtual service providers offer low-cost options for unlimited Internet access with no ads and great customer service.

LibertyBay.com this week launched Internet services in 16 markets across the U.S. The virtual Internet service provider offers unlimited access for under $9 a month by outsourcing its Internet infrastructure to third parties.

Unlike the traditional ISP business model, where start-up requires a large monetary investment in plant and property, LibertyBay plans to develop strategic partnerships with third parties to provide cutting-edge services at highly competitive pricing.

Level 3 Communications is currently supplying LibertyBay.com with local Internet dial-up access nationwide and also provides around-the-clock network and hardware management. That leaves LibertyBay free to focus on building a customer-to-support staff ratio of 2-to-1 and establishing a high volume call center to keep clients happy.

Todd Ostrander, LibertyBay.com president, said low-cost Internet access does not have to equate to marginal support services for subscribers.

"In the past, people were so awed by the possibilities of the Internet that they would put up with marginal service, unreliable connections and a large price tag just to have access," Ostrander said.

"Now, Internet users can and should expect more. Our business model means we can provide better customer service, better Internet access, and better reliability at half the price of our competitors, and without the gimmicks you find with free service providers."

Mark Winther, International Data Corp. group vice president of worldwide telecommunications, said the LiberterBay VISP business model offers the best of both worlds -- profitability by outsourcing facilities with an enhanced focus on customer services.

"LibertyBay.com has developed a new, powerful business model that takes advantage of low cost, third-party solutions, allowing the company to focus investment on customer service," Winther said.

Winther added that by outsourcing their infrastructure to third parties, LibertyBay is well positioned to quickly come to market with new technologies, as they develop.

"An extension of this outsourcing model is the ability to adapt quickly to new technologies that directly benefit the end-user," he said.

The new service provides customers with a free e-mail account and easy access to customer service representatives, with child protection software and unsolicited e-mail protection to be offered further down the road.

LibertyBay also plans to offer high-speed Digital Subscriber Line access and voice-over IP services to its subscribers within the next few months.

The initial service launch includes local dial-up access in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New Hampshire, New York City, Philadelphia, Rhode Island, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

LibertyBay.com plans to extend their local dial-up services to the nation's top 50 metropolitan markets by the end of 2000.