RealTime IT News

FreeDSL Offers Bandwidth-on-Demand

FreeDSL customers languishing at 144Kbps to 384Kbps speeds can get a taste of truly high-speed digital subscriber line access with Winfire Inc.'s, Bandwidth-on-Demand, it was announced Wednesday.

The patent-pending product by Winfire gives DSL customers a one-click speed boost of up to 1.54Mbps, depending on the condition of the copper line running from the home to the central office. Available in three-hour increments up to 12 hours, the service starts at $4.95.

Winfire is an "upsell" Internet service provider, offering free DSL Internet access in the hopes its customers will upgrade to premium services at speeds up to 1.54Mbps. The model is based on the success of Juno Online Services, Inc., which took its initially-free dialup service and became the nation's third largest ISP.

Chad Steelberg, Winfire chairman and co-chief executive officer, said his product shows customers the advantages of the true capabilities of DSL.

"Winfire is committed to offering our DSL customers the latest technology that improves their overall experience on the Internet," Steelberg said. "Bandwidth-on-Demand is the first Winfire offering that provides users with seamless one-click access to a faster DSL connection, for a significantly lower cost, when they choose."

The service is a hook for the ISP to show FreeDSL customers the benefits of premium DSL services and make the step to paying customer. A person using the Bandwidth-on-Demand for 24 hours just paid the monthly charge for Winfire's 384Kbps service.

Officials are hoping the ease of use and download speeds entice customers for faster services when downloading large files like MP3 music and streaming media videos. To that end, Winfire signed a deal with Universal Music Group Wednesday to provide a one-click link to the company's archive of original music.

With FreeDSL available in 12 metropolitan areas throughout the country and more on the horizon, Winfire is looking to attract paying customers to help offset its free service. For the past year, the free Internet model has taken a pounding with ISPsWorldSpy and Freewwweb folding under and being consolidated into Juno.

According to Mike Lowe,