BDG Activates Free Dial-Up Access, Web-Based Email

Broadband Digital Group this week
fired-up it’s free offerings of dial-up Internet access and Web-based
e-mail services to lure new subscribers to its advertising-supported
digital subscriber line offering.

Available through the company’s Winfire 2.0 software, registered free DSL
users can automatically download the software required to support BDG’s
free basic services.

Ryan Steelberg, BDG president and co-chief executive officer, said the
company takes the industry’s best value proposition, free broadband access,
and make’s it even better.

“Now, FreeDSL registrants have the option to switch from their current
dial-up provider to our free dial-up service, saving them money and
affording them access to the Internet at home and when on the road,”
Steelberg said.

Many different companies offer free basic dial-up and e-mail services, but
most of the services are based on advertising-supported business models.
The BDG free basic service program enables users to enjoy no-fee basic
Internet access without having to view banner ads on the desktop.

The same can not be said for BDG’s free DSL service. The catch is that
anyone signing up for the free high-speed service will be forced to
sacrifice half of his or her computer screen to persistent advertising.

Headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., BDG is one of the first providers
to offer free broadband Internet access for the consumer market segment.
The company rolled out its free DSL services early in April.

The company reported it had signed up 675,000 interested subscribers since
it announced the free DSL offer in December 1999. BDG’s goal is to have
500,000 DSL committed subscribers, or nearly 20 percent of the consumer
market by the end of the year.

BDG is a free access hybrid in that it anticipates 15 percent of its users
will be turned off by the constant advertisements supporting of its
free-high-speed services and will pay to make them go away. Subscribers can
turn off the constant stream of advertisements for basic DSL services by
paying $10 a month. BDG also sells ad-free connections for its 384 KBPS
service for $20 a month, and a 1.54 MBPS services for $35 each month.

Steelberg said BDG’s first goal is to gain the largest subscriber base
possible.

“That drives our costs of acquisition down and it allows us to buy network
capacity in bulk at discounts,” Steelberg said.

BDG’s free dial-up and We-based e-mail services are enticing new
subscribers to join-up, while driving the cost of acquiring new customers
down. BDG supports its free high-speed service with advertising revenues,
and supplements the lost of those revenues with paid-for no-ad high speed
Internet access.

Free dial-up and free DSL users receive a free Web-based e-mail account
accessible anywhere an Internet connection is available. E-mail features
include message composition, 6 megabytes of message storage, 10 megabytes of transferable
storage, importable address capability, auto-message forwarding to other
e-mail accounts, and personal calendar functions.

BDG’s free dial-up and e-mail services are available in the 48 contiguous
states through local access numbers. Its flagship FreeDSL service is
available in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles and Orange County,
with plans to continue rolling out to 15 major markets by the end of June.

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