1stUp.com Supports 3.5 Million Free Users

Free Internet access facilitator 1stUp.com
Corp.
Wednesday confirmed it has signed up more than 3.5 million users
through its 70 distribution partners.

Since launching its first private label free Internet access service over
seven months ago the CMGI Inc.
subsidiary amassed a total subscriber base that edges-out leading free
Internet access providers like Net Zero
Inc.
(NZRO)
by about a half-million users.

1stUp.com provides advertising supported free Internet access services for
CMGI (CMGI)
sister company Alta Vista, @Home Corporation’s (ATHM)
[email protected], and Lycos Inc. (LCOS), as well as other leading Web portals and affinity groups.

1stUp.com contends that it has assembled the largest ISP network in North
America, with more than 4,000 dial-up numbers. 1stUp.com’s ISP network
quickly had to scale its access to support and manage network traffic
growth of 40 percent per month over the last four months.

Charles Katz, 1stUp.com president and chief executive officer, said the
demand for its sponsor-supported Internet access technology is undeniable.

“The fact that our distribution partners have signed-up over 3.5 million
subscribers in such a short amount of time is testament to our commitment
to excellence,” Katz said. “For 1stUp.com’s distribution partners,
sponsor-supported access is a valuable mechanism to effectively brand
themselves online and increase their own customer numbers, in turn driving
revenues.”

According to Jupiter
Communications Inc.
research, 1stUp.com’s augmented subscriber base is
indicative of consumer demand for a wider choice of options when it comes
to connecting to the Internet. In a recent survey commissioned by Jupiter
(JPTR)
, the firm estimated that 47 percent of U.S. online households would switch
to a private-label, affinity ISP if provided with an economic incentive to
do so.

Kate von Goeler, Cahners In-Stat
Group
ISP industry analyst concurs with Jupiter’s findings stating that
1stUp.com is a major force driving companies toward online branding of
their customers through free e-mail and Internet access.

“By allowing top content players to become top access providers, 1stUp is a
key catalyst transforming both industries,” von Goeler said. “And it has
done so with remarkable swiftness and success.”

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