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RealTime IT News

Company Launches Net Service With New Twist

Rent-A-Center Inc. Tuesday unveiled an new Internet access offering designed for customers who would prefer not to enter into a monthly commitment.

Rent-A-Center (RCII) Tuesday announced a "pay-as-you-go" service that will launch in June with weekly rates and no long-term commitment. Access can be purchased at any of the company's 2,080 stores across the country without a credit card or a checking account.

Access to the Internet through RentACenter.com will be available to all consumers, regardless of whether they are a current Rent-A-Center customer. For $5.99 per week, customers will receive unlimited hours and access to the Internet. In addition, RentACenter.com will provide complimentary services including e-mail, personal Web space, access to shopping and chat rooms.

Rent-A-Center Chairman and CEO J. Ernest Talley said his firm conjured the idea for those who do not have a strong credit history, credit card or bank account. Ideally, Rent-A-Center is looking to narrow the much talked about "digital divide."

"We believe this new service is the only one of its kind and could establish 'RentACenter.com' as the leading ISP for those who may be unable to obtain Internet service through existing market participants like America Online," Talley said.

Rent-A-Center rents home electronics, appliances, computers, and furniture and accessories to consumers under flexible rental purchase agreements that allow the customer to obtain ownership of the merchandise at the conclusion of an agreed-upon rental period.