FreedomPop Debuts Free Home Broadband Service

FreedomPop, the venture-backed provider of free broadband services, has launched into the home broadband market, the company announced this morning. The firm--which has the backing of Mangrove Capital, DCM and Atomico, the venture investment arm of Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom--said it will be ofering up 100 percent, free high speed Internet to customers. The company said its broadband serviec will offer up speeds faster than typical DSL, comparable with most major cable providers.

The new free service requires purchase of a wireless router, for $89, but then allows users to use up to 1GB of free data each month, plus additional data by sharing information on the service to friends and family. FreedomPop, led by Stephen Stokols, is leveraging the broadband network of Clearwire for its broadband service.

FreedomPop has been attempting to turn the current model of expensive, broadband wireless plans on its head, by offering up free broadband both through mobile and home access; the firm offers up a reasonable amount of data on its plans, then charges a low rate for additional bandwidth. The company is hoping that the virality of "free" will reduce the usually expensive marketing costs associated with launching a new telecom provider; the firm also is hoping to make inroads into the traditional voice space, with a link with local telephony and text messaging app provider TextPlus.