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More Than 7000 Kiwis Surfed The Net For Free

More Than 7000 Kiwis Surfed The Net For Free With Freenet

Freenet continues to prove that free internet access is still a reality for New Zealanders by announcing that more than 7000 of their customers didn't pay a cent for internet access last month.

Freenet provides free internet access for up to 10 hours a month and then a flat charge of $14.75 per month for unlimited use beyond that, which is the lowest monthly rate available.

While other internet service providers (ISPs) are scaling back their free service offerings or increasing monthly access rates, Freenet says not only is it providing free internet access for thousands of people, but the service is excellent.

"Our customers can always get through to the net, it's fast and high quality," says Karim Hussona, CEO of Freenet's parent company Compass Communications Ltd.

"We have heard reports of people having difficulty logging onto the internet through other providers, but with Freenet this is simply not the case. It shows that you can provide a free service and maintain quality," he says.

Karim Hussona says as a telecommunications company with its own network, Compass is able to take a long-term view of the industry.

"We are sticking to our promise to provide a level for free quality internet access," says Karim Hussona.

"We said it was possible over a year ago when we first introduced Freenet and last month's figures show that there is a definitely a demand for this type of service."

Changes to the industry's interconnect agreements late last year meant that Freenet revised its offering, returning to its original structure. A free 10-hour per month service was introduced in January 2001, with a flat fee of $14.75 per month for any usage beyond that point.

Take up of the new service from both new and existing Freenet customers has been excellent, with new subscribers continuing to register every day.

"We are extremely pleased with our subscriber levels," says Steve McLean, Compass' general manager for consumer products.

"We've registered thousands of new customers from new and existing Freenet subscribers within the first two weeks, and this number is continuing to climb."

Freenet was the first ISP in New Zealand to offer free internet access when Compass Communications introduced the subsidiary in February 2000.

The service can be accessed at


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