Free Net has shut the door on its free Internet service after being flooded with 30,000 new subscribers in six weeks -- one new member every two minutes.
The company has now closed registration to the general public and will instead become an affinity ISP, with seats available only to its selected advertisers and affinity partners.
"The membership base was achieved without a heavy advertising or PR budget, and the registrations grew primarily by word of mouth. It was not uncommon to get 700 members in one day," said Jeremy Pollard, Free Net's sales and marketing director.
Free Net claims to be used by 78 per cent of all Australian free ISP users.
Unlike European free ISPs which earn income from timed local calls, Free Net is entirely dependent on advertising revenue, so there are no hidden charges for users.
Free Net's iServe technology delivers targeted advertising messages in a pop-up window, using demographic data gleaned from members.