Free Broadband Internet Access!
So you're looking for free broadband Internet access? Join
the club! There's been a lot of discussion over the years
regarding broadband Internet being a basic human need in modern
society. In other words, it should be considered a public
utility. Arguments that public libraries offer free high
speed Internet only meets with resistance. Many people feel
that having mobile broadband has become a basic human right.
This point can surely be
debated, and certainly becomes very
As this site gets a tremendous volume of visitors looking for No
Contract Wireless Internet
, it only makes sense for me to
include information about how to get free mobile broadband, right?!
There's a link at the bottom of the page that will take you
to information about getting a free cell phone and service for
qualifying households. So it fits nicely into the general
spirit of informing visitors to this site of all available options to
discuss free broadband as well. Also, unlike the free
wireless phone service programs, the free broadband Internet access
programs that have emerged are not government subsidized programs.
They are completely new business models that seek to gain
people's share of mind. Let's take a look at how they work,
and summarizes their offerings!
So How Is Free Wireless Internet
The concept is actually quite simple. The first company to
free service was FreedomPop. They offer a token amount of
data that is more than sufficient to browse the Internet and check
course, if you stream videos from YouTube or watch NetFlix regularly,
you'll quickly run through your allocation. Arguably,
video, or playing online games is not yet considered a basic human
right, so the free allocation is definitely reasonable. So
a company with this model make
money and stay in business? What they do is sell usage above
the monthly free access. If they sell it at
least competitive prices, the theory is that they can get enough paying
customers to support the free portion of the service.
Also, by using MiFi
modems as their main product offering
(although USB modems are also available), they keep the WiFi access
for anyone to connect to. What this means is that if you're
using your FreedomPop free broadband Internet access in a public place
(ex. a coffee shop), others will be able to connect to it.
They can then sign up for free access (i.e. get their own
modem). If they do, FreedomPop will give you additional free
Internet access for the referral. Consider that if enough of
those people then go ahead and end up purchasing additional access
after their free service in a given month is used up, and they in turn
connection with others, the viral nature could result in a sufficiently
large customer base to build a profitable business. As
they've been around for a number of years now, all signs point
towards a sustainable business model. Hopefully it will
continue to be
sufficiently profitable to endure over the long term!
Is Free Broadband Internet
Access A Scam?
Absolutely not! Will the business model work? Only
time will tell. I expect that FreedomPop has built a lot of
business models that show the minimum paying subscribership that they
need to be profitable. I also expect that its investors are
taking a calculated risk. If their base grows very large, the
company could end up selling to a larger carrier who wants those
customers. In other words, if it works really well, the
founders and investors could end up being very wealthy! It's
interesting to note that Skype's co-founder, Niklas Zennstrom, is
behind FreedomPop, so he's no stranger to turning free services
into thriving and profitable businesses.
Are There Other Free Broadband Internet
What's interesting about FreedomPop is that this is their only
business. It's do or die for them, so you can expect very
careful management of their offers and programs. On the other
hand, NetZero also provides free mobile broadband
service as well. The big difference with them is that their
company has been around for decades. That could either help
them tremendously, or hurt them if they don't provide sufficient
resources and focus on building out this new business.
Note, also, that NetZero is taking a different approach in terms of
their offer. They are providing one year of free service for
a lower speed connection (1-Megabit), which will be fast enough for
email and most Internet sites, but not fast enough for streaming video
If you want the faster
10-Megabit speed you'll need to pay for a monthly plan (i.e. only the
slower speed is free). This is more of a trial period type of
offer, and a very different and far less risky business model.
If people like the service, it's very likely that you'll buy
a plan well before the year is up. Also, with NetZero, once
change to a paid plan, you cannot return to the free service, and you
can only get the free plan for one year. Compare that to
FreedomPop, which lets you use the free monthly service in perpetuity,
and simply purchase additional plans as needed. Lastly, note
company is using an ad-supported model, which NetZero is famous for in
the late 90s; it required users to watch ads in order to get the free
The following table provides a general overview comparing the available
free broadband Internet access services. Clicking on the
provider's logos will take you directly to the company's website to
review the details of their offers to see if any of them meet your
service is not backwards compatible with 3G
- Extra data = $0.02/MB
- Speed is restricted compared to
available paid plans
- 4G/3G plans available: $4.66 for 500MB,
$16.66 for 2GB, $29.99 for 4GB, etc.
- Additional data can be earned for free
by referring friends or doing surveys
- Also offer Free
Cell Phone Service; check it out on the Monthly Plans Chart or go directly
to their site: FreedomPop.
free service is
limited to 1-Mbit/sec speeds (compared to 10-Mbit for paid service);
i.e. It's NOT 4G!
you change to a paid
plan within the first year, you cannot return to the free plan.
There's also an FCC regulated program that offers free and subsidized
Internet via the Lifeline
program. Are you interested in a free
phone and service to go along with your free
broadband Internet access? Learn more at Free
Cell Phone Service