[Milan, ITALY] The Italian ISP, Nopay.it,
is leading the way to the future of European Internet with an announcement
that it will provide no cost access and connection throughout the
Mediterranean peninsula. The service, which begins this week, will offer a
double savings to Italian Internet users, Nopay said. First, there will be
no subscription fee and second, there will be no telephone connection
“The Internet is the most democratic medium that exists, and should therefore be
genuinely free and liberalized,” Nopay spokesperson Rossana de la Espriella
Internet users in Italy, and most of Europe, are currently using dial-up
access to reach ISPs; and therefore charged by local telecoms for each
minute they are connected. In addition, they are required to pay for access
through an annual ISP subscription. Nopay is offering a toll-free access and
connection to anyone that applies via its Web site. According to de la
Espriella, however, access is limited to two, free hours per day.
Other European companies, including AltaVista, have been working on business
models that would offer similar advantages to those implemented by Nopay.
Thus far, however, the costs of toll-free charges, which are billed to the
ISP by the local telecom, have prohibited such offerings. Nopay will offset
these charges through publicity, which is ever-present on ones browser
during the free online time.
Nopay began testing the free service in Milan in March, and currently has
250,000 subscribers that account for nearly 45 million banner views per
month. By the end of the year, the ISP has targeted 1 million subscribers