NetZero Still Kicking, Offering Free 4G In Exchange For Free Facebook Advertising
October 9, 2012

NetZero Offering Free 4G In Exchange For Free Facebook Advertising

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Remember NetZero, the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) from the late 90s to provide users with free Internet access, so long as they were comfortable with being bombarded with ads? Apparently they´re still around, rebranding themselves this time around as a provider of 4G mobile broadband.

The California company has been selling their data through Clearwire since March, even continuing to offer a free, 200 megabyte plan.

They´re also offering a 500 MB plan for $9.95, a 1 GB plan for $19.95, 2 Gigs for $35 and 4 Gigs for $50. So what does an ad-driven, late-90s ISP have to do to earn themselves some attention about these new 4G plans? Offer free service to friends in exchange for using their members´ Facebook walls as platforms for free advertising.

As announced in their press release: “Through this new program, any of Facebook's® hundreds of millions of users can sign up at and receive one free gigabyte of wireless data per month to give away to their friends via Facebook. All of the free wireless data that is given away can be claimed by the Facebook member's friends through the NetZero 4G Data Share app and can be used by NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband subscribers with any data plan, including the 200MB/month free plan.”

There´s no such thing as a free data plan, of course. In order to take advantage of 200 free megabytes of data, users will need to have a Facebook account (easy enough), sign up for one of NetZero´s data plans (the free plan counts here) and purchase one of NetZero´s 4G Mobile Broadband devices, such as the 4G NetZero Stick or the NetZero 4G Hotspot.

In order to start using the service, interested 4G-thirsty users need to sign up for the promotion through Facebook. Once all the requirements are met, NetZero will dole out 1GB of free data to share with those interested Facebook friends each month. NetZero takes care of advertising for you, telling your friends about this free data you have to give away on your Facebook wall. The one gig, of course, is parceled out into 200 MB servings, allowing users to share with up to five friends. Those users who take the free 200 MBs can add them to their existing plans (again, even those with free plans can take advantage of this) as well as receive up to a free gig of data from 5 other friends.

NetZero users are free from signing contracts and can operate with the company on a month-to-month basis, which is a good thing. NetZero also claims their 4G Mobile Broadband service can achieve speeds of up to 10Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up, slower than Verizon´s 4G LTE service, which easily and consistently pulls down 15 to 20mbps.

“With the launch of this innovative program, we are remaining true to our commitment to bridge the digital divide and bring the power of the Internet to more Americans," remarked NetZero president Rusty Taragan in the press release.

"This program has the potential to deliver an enormous amount of free data at 4G speed to NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband subscribers to use online without being tethered to a home Internet or public Wi-Fi connection. Through this program, Facebook's hundreds of millions of members will have the opportunity to give away a significant amount of free data to their friends, claim free data from other program members, and, if they become a NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband subscriber (even those who choose to sign up for our free service), use the data to access the Internet wirelessly anywhere within our network."

So if you have a group of 4 data-conservative friends who don´t mind spending $25 or $50 on a device before signing up for free, subpar data service, you´re able to earn up to 1,200 MBs of free data every month, or at least until the promotion ends.