RealTime IT News

NetZero Makes Cuts In Staff, Service

Less than six months after putting a price on free Internet service, the self-styled "Defenders of the Free World" announced Wednesday night more restrictions on its service and laid off 66 employees.

NetZero, Inc., a highly-popular free Internet service provider (ISP) with more than 3.4 million active users, dropped its monthly cap from 40 hours of free Internet use down to 10 hours and reduced its coverage area in rural and underserved areas to cut down on POP server costs.

Also announced was its decision to sell off RocketCash, its online payment company that took orders for its NetZero Platinum service. With the company went 27 employees to the undisclosed new owners.

Mark Goldston, NetZero chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the move, while unfortunate, was necessary to both increase quality of service and please shareholders.

"The current dynamics of the online advertising market require that we reduce our reliance on advertising revenues," Goldston said. "The decision to re-size our employee base was extremely difficult. However, these actions are necessary steps that will enable us to streamline our operations and sharpen our focus on our core Internet access business."