A new startup is offering free Internet service with limits on streaming video consumption. FreedomPop offers wireless broadband service for free or as little as $10 a month for those who want to watch more videos. The service is significantly slower than what is offered by major service providers, but FreedomPop Chief Executive Stephen Stokols told the Huffington Post he thinks there are people who will enjoy the tradeoff of paying less for Internet.
“My goal is to disrupt the market and introduce competition that brings down prices to consumers,” Stokols said. “We're looking to shake up home broadband in a big way." According to Stokols, the service appeals to casual Internet users who only browse the web and use email, or those who have not yet upgraded to broadband because of cost.
The company charges for “speed boosts” and other add-on services. But as high speed fiber backbones are being developed around the country, like the Google Fiber project in Kansas City and the high-speed fiber network recently announced for neighborhoods in Seattle, Wash., some experts feel that people won't want to revert back to slower Internet speeds. "While the price is nice, the usage caps and connectivity issues could prevent this from being a serious competitor," said Karl Bode, editor of the industry blog Broadband Reports. FreedomPop "is really aiming at the bargain basement, light usage set anyway," he said.