By 2003, more than 13 million US households will be accessing the Internet through free ISPs, according to a new study.
Out of that number, 8.8 million will use a free ISP as their primary connection to the Internet, making up 13 per cent of the US online population, according to the study, released by Jupiter Communications.
Although free ISPs will continue to grow, they will not displace the current, subscription-based ISP model, because Americans care more about download speeds and reliability than cost, according to the report.
The growth of the free ISP will mirror the growth of free e-mail, with customers maintaining several free accounts simultaneously, but using only one or two on a regular basis, Jupiter said.
Free ISPs mainly rely on advertising revenues to support their business, but they are expected to capture just $US901 million in advertising revenue by 2003, making up only 8 per cent of total online advertising spending.