IDT’s (IDTC) FreeAtLast.com offers subscribers free Internet, faxing, e-mail and
calling services. Known more as a leading multinational telecommunications
carrier switched gears to focus on advertising revenue supported Internet
telephony services and unlimited dial-up access.
Howard Jonas, IDT chairman and chief executive officer said it has further
ignited a revolution in the communications industry.
“The way people access information and communicate with one another is
being completely overhauled,” Jonas said. “Just as radio and broadcast
Television are free public services, IDT believes the Internet should be
free as well.
Jonas noted that its free Internet services are differentiated from rival
offers because it includes software that allows subscribed to access free
Internet telephony services.
FreeAtLast.com is currently being rolled out in most major U.S. markets in
the United States. While the free Internet service is similar to other
no-fee ISPs advertiser supported business models IDT believes it
distinguishes its service from competitors by providing subscribers with a
complete Internet-based communications suite.
Other free online services typically bombard a user’s screen with
constantly flashing banner ads and other distracting on-screen displays.
But FreeAtLast.com services deliver advertising and other promotional
content in an unobtrusive manner.
IDT delivers advertisers precision targeted services based on individual
user demographics and content affinities. FreeAtLast.com guarantees that it
adheres to the highest standards of privacy for every user that subscribes
to the service because each subscriber’s identity remains anonymous and no
user data is ever collected, stored, or sold to third parties.
Jonas said no subscriber should have to worry about where their personal
information and Web surfing habits are being watched or collected to be
sold to marketers.
“Respecting the privacy of our customers is paramount for IDT and one of
our guiding principles,” Jonas said.
IDT contends that its years of experience in the Internet industry gives it
the technical expertise and competitive edge needed to succeed in the free
ISP marketplace. IDT is an established Tier 1 Internet access provider and
also operates a private national fiber optic backbone.
Jim Courter, IDT president said its telecom experience provides the firm
with a several advantages over outsourced free ISP services.
“There are literally thousands of ISP’s out there today,” Courter said.
“What separates IDT from the rest is our long history in the industry and
our proven track record of delivering high quality, reliable Internet
access. We are confident IDT has the resources, experience and expertise
needed to make our free ISP model a long-term success.”
Earlier this year Frank Gens, International
Data Corp. senior vice president said the research firm’s analysis of
the free access marketplace indicates that free ISPs are in no rush to meet
with the financial realities of such business endeavors. But he added that
large cash outlays would not stop ad supported business models from
continuing to launch free service offerings throughout the year.
According to Gens, free Internet access, devices and software are
commonplace. However IDC contends that the smart companies will put network
effects to work in their business models, radically expanding their
electronic channels, to become resources for other industries.