Nopay.it Srl, a Milan-based ISP (Internet service provider), will begin offering Internet access free of subscription and telephone charges to clients throughout Italy, the company announced Friday.
The service is due to begin on Saturday and is the first "double free Internet" service in Europe, Nopay.it said in a prepared statement. However, customers will be limited to a maximum of two hours free of charge per day, it said.
Clients can access the service by calling a toll-free number, so the cost of the call will be covered by Nopay. The service will be financed from advertising revenue generated by small banner ads and later, by television-style advertising spots with moving images, the company said.
"Neither will interfere with a tranquil navigation on the Web," the statement said.
AltaVista Co. recently abandoned plans for a similar free service in Britain, saying British Telecommunications PLC's connection charges were too high to make the service viable.
Nopay began offering its service in the Milan area only, with the intention of expanding it to Rome by the end of the summer, the company said. It has now decided to extend the offer to the entire country. Nopay currently has 200,000 subscribers and hopes to raise the figure to 1 million by the end of the year, the statement said. About 45 million banner adds are viewed on its Web site every month by subscribers, 70 percent of which are male, it said.
"The arrival of Nopay throughout Italy will revolutionize the Internet market, just as happened when the first providers offered free access two years ago," Nopay spokeswoman Rossana de la Espriella said in a prepared statement. "From tomorrow, anyone from Sicily to the Trentino region will be able to have their hours of free navigation because we believe that Internet is the most democratic medium that exists and should therefore be genuinely free and liberalized."
Nopay can be contacted in Milan by calling +3902-2040-4221 or on the Web at http://www.nopay.it/.