The Tritium Network said that it is bringing its new ,advertiser-supported, free Internet access program to customers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth markets.
PC users with local dial-up access in area codes 972 and 817 will be able to join Tritium customers in New York, Chicago, Boston, Cincinnati, Washington, Houston and San Francisco.
Tritium uses its patent-pending Ad-Path, a push technology application that displays advertisements in a narrow, “tickertape-like” fashion at the bottom of users’ screens. Ads change every 30 seconds based on user demographics and rotate through a predetermined cycle.
“Until now, people have been able to access a lot of valuable content for free, and could have free email, but they had to pay Internet Service Providers (ISP) to be allowed the opportunity to access the Internet and surf the Web,” said Michael Lee, Tritium president. “But now, with our AdPath technology, we have been able to provide Internet access for free, saving users an average of $263 per year on access fees.”
Users provide demographic information when they register. About once a month, in exchange for free access, users fill out short questionnaires about buying preferences. For example, users who indicate that they plan to buy a car in the next six months will likely see more automotive ads.
Tritium said it expects to have one million subscribers by fall of 1998, three million by fall of 1999, and six to nine million by 2000.
Memberships are being limited in the first phase of Tritium’s eight city rollout to preserve the quality of service, the company said. At the outset, 4,000 consumers per city who currently use other ISPs will qualify for membership.
To support its business plan, Tritium said it conducted surveys among nearly 1,500 Internet users. A series of focus groups were conducted to assess consumers’ reactions to advertising on the Internet. According to the research, among sophisticated Internet users (those who are online five or more hours per week), 100% of those surveyed said they felt that getting free Internet access was worth having 12% of the monitor consumed by targeted advertising.
Tritium will also be providing free email, and by summer 1998, free chat room and news groups services. A Macintosh version will be in beta production stages by the fall of 1998.
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