In what looks like a burgeoning trend, yet another ISP is offering a free Internet service. Interprise, in conjunction with a venture capital company, has launched MyISP, a free service for users going online for basic services such as banking and e-mail.
Essentially, the MyISP service comprises options for both dial-up and ADSL users: dialup access is unlimited and free whereas ADSL customers have two options to choose from. The first ADSL option provides customers with 250Mb of bandwidth per month that "cuts off" once the limit is reached. The second option provides customers with 300Mb free bandwidth per month and when this limit is reached, they are billed on a "pay-as-you-go" basis for additional bandwidth usage.
Both access options are completely free, and only entail an optional R29.00 monthly fee for an e-mail account. This fee, however, will become compulsory as the service evolves in the future.
MyISP was launched following extensive market research by Interprise. The findings highlighted that a significant portion of the South African consumer marketplace use the Internet to do basic banking and access the odd e-mail, rather than making use of extensive bandwidth. Most of these users have to pay a minimum monthly fee which usually does not warrant the usage.
MyISP, says Interprise, gives them a viable alternative.
Comments Leon Gerber, director of MyISP: "MyISP is a focused on providing the South African consumer the best possible deal and has created a product and service offering that is geared to their requirements.
"As Interprise focuses primarily on the Small Office Home Office (SoHo) and Small Medium Enterprise (SME) business market, we felt the time was right to launch an ISP business that enables consumers to easily gain access to the Internet without having to worry about paying costly service provider fees at the end of the month.
"We believe that since the demise of free Internet from service providers such as Absa Internet, the market has been waiting for a similar offer from an experienced provider like MyISP."
MyISP hopes to extend its free services into the wireless marketplace but, says Gerber, this is dependent on larger players and service providers with spectrum licences that can assist to make this a reality.