Startup reveals free Wi-Fi services using crowd funding

Rival Networks says it will give customers 1GB per month on 3G with no term limit for a $99 one-time fee.

A telecom startup said it will provide free broadband services using a crowd funding model.

Rival Networks announced two plans:

  • Customers pay a one-time fee of $99 for a VIP plan and get 1GB per month on a 3G wireless connection, with no term limit, according to the company’s business development manager, Glenn West. Customers may use their own equipment or buy it from Rival.

  • A free version of the plan does not include the 3G connection but gives customers access to Rival Free Wi-Fi hotspots, which the company said are “now rolling out across Australia”.

“We have arrangements in place to roll out Wi-Fi hotspots in certain places around the country and they will be free for our members,” West told Computerworld Australia. Data is unlimited over the hotspots, but restricted to HTTP and HTTPS access, he said. “A VIP member uses a 3G mobile network and has access from virtually anywhere in Australia.”

Rival Networks plans to add ADSL services “soon,” West said.

“The NBN will be part of the services that we will be attaching to, provided the cost is viable once it comes online,” he said.

The startup is counting on Pozible.com.au, a Sydney crowd funding website, to pay for the free connections.

“We will use the funds we receive from the platform to pay for installation, setup and initial fees of Rival Free in various locations around the country,” the company said. “They have pledged that the services will go to charities, non-profit organisations, employment centres, elderly centres, disadvantaged communities, community centres and other needed areas.”

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