Free broadband for life

FreeBroadband, a newcomer to the list of UK broadband service providers, is championing itself as 'the world's first free broadband service provider', a claim which sounds too good to be true.

The Web site, owned by a group called the World of Profit Ltd., is claiming to offer free broadband connection and subscription for a predetermined number of UK home users for a minimum period of one year. But in theory, the deal has no time limitations.

Exactly how many users will be able to take advantage of the offer is not clear, although the company has confirmed it requires a minimum of just over a quarter of a million users for the scheme to go ahead.

"We have identified several revenue sources based on market research into the top performing internet commodities. Having already secured a number of revenue sources it is our intention to ensure that we are in a position to provide members with access to the kinds of products and services they would want at a competitive price," said spokeswoman Bev Harrison.

"This in turn would provide us with the revenue from advertising and commission needed to fund free broadband access for our members," she added.

It isn't clear how the company will be providing the service, whether via cable, ADSL, wireless or satellite connection. Although marketing manager David Priest said the company was in negotiations with wholesale providers and had "almost secured a top ISP".

"[We] will determine the criteria for the provision of free broadband access and at this time [we] are under no obligation to provide this service to any individual," reads the company's website.

Links to sponsors' services will be displayed on the website but members under no obligation to purchase through them.

Everyone who registers their interest will be sent a free newsletter that contains details of FreeBroadband's progress and "articles or sponsors messages that we believe to be of interest to our members".

So far 5,000 users have registered for the service which will be launched in the UK only in April.

FreeBroadband's Web site can be found at: http://www.freebb.co.uk/.

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Wendy Brewer

PC World
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