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ZFREE – the Internet is free

ZFREE, powered by CLEAR, today launched a web site through which all New Zealanders can access the Internet for free.

At www.zfree.co.nz, users will be able to sign up for free Internet access, set up an email account, search the Web and participate in newsgroups.

There’s also a link to ZFREE affiliate, Woolworths, which operates a home shopping web site. In the future, ZFREE and Woolworths will work together to ensure that free Internet access and ecommerce is available to as many New Zealanders as possible.

ZFREE’s no-frills service is pitched at home users who want simple, easy access to the Internet. Users must sign up online. ZFREE is available in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Whangarei, Rotorua, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Napier/Hastings, Masterton and Dunedin - and ZFREE has plans to expand to other regions as soon as practical.

In the future, the ZFREE portal will carry personalised information on a range of subjects, including news, entertainment and weather.

But ZFREE users need not fear spam attacks. ZFREE’s David Owen says spam will not be tolerated and the same systems which protect CLEAR Net users will be employed. ZFREE users will only receive occasional emails from ZFREE.

ZFREE will gather revenue from advertising and sponsorship, interconnect fees (similar to overseas models which take a proportion of local call charges), and through providing technology services to business partners.

Advanced helpdesk assistance will be available from ZFREE at a cost of $1.49/minute through 0900 59 373. Pre-recorded registration details and answers to common questions will be available free-of-charge and users will also be able to contact ZFREE via email.

ZFREE users will use a CLEAR local number for dial-up access, so they may be subject to Telecom’s “0867” Internet tax of two cents per minute after the first 10 hours online each month.

ENDS

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