National Internet provider FlashNet
aims to remove the biggest obstacle to the spread of Internet access by giving consumers who sign up for its service a free personal computer.
“We’ve built our company on the premise that the Internet should be
accessible to everyone,” said FlashNet Founder and Chairman Lee Thurburn.
“We wanted to provide an offer that will make it easy for those without
computers to get online – and you can’t make it any easier than giving away
a free PC,” he said.
Unlike other free PC offers that require customers to divulge private
information and view sponsors advertisements, FlashNet will give new
subscribers a Pentium PC when they sign a two or three-year contract.
The 2-year term of service is less than $22 a month and the 3-year contract costs $20 with the refurbished PC. In effect, new subscribers are
purchasing a refurbished PC for between $528 and $720 with unlimited Internet access.
The computers come equipped with a Pentium processor, 64 megabytes of memory, 56K
modem, 14-inch monitor, two e-mail accounts, software and 24-hour technical
FlashNet maintains more than 650 points of presence in the continental
U.S., serving approximately 200,000 subscribers nationwide.