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Monday, June 28, 2004

Once Upon A Time

I thought that a small company named NetZero was going to change the world as we knew it. I imagined a world where we had "network" and "cable" versions of internet access. Pay for internet and get fewer commercials and better spam filters, and most certainly no in house spam. Get free internet and have to buy your own spam filter, get more ads, and most certainly some in house spam. It seemed NetZero with its no monthly fee email was an amazing innovation to offer internet access for the small price of constant advertising. Sure the advertisements would be annoying and the access would be dial up, but think of the market share this could have resulted in.

Alas, that was not meant to be. Five years after I first heard of them, NetZero costs $9.95 a month for unlimited dial up and $14.95 for better dial-up. Cheap by any standard, sure. But not free. NOT FREE. Whatever happened to their great, and hilarious, RIGHT TO HAVE FREE INTERNET ACCESS commercials. Sure, there isn't any actual such right. At least not anymore than there is a right to a free newspaper or phone, but the commericals were great. Besides I really thought they had the advertising will pay the expenses thing mastered. Argh!

As for free, well they still have it. For 10 hours a month. I guess we all have a right to 10 hours of free access a month. Better than nothing, but not quite Utopia either.

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