free Internet service provider

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The first Internet service providers made profits from charging subscribers a fee for access to the Internet. The late 1990s saw an increasing number of so-called free Internet service providers. Such companies make profits in a number of ways: by taking a proportion of the phone bill of the number a subscriber uses, by charging premium telephone rates for their support lines, by insisting that subscribers change their phone company to one for which the service provider receives an introduction fee, or by interrupting subscribers' access to the Internet with adverts paid for by other companies.

Subjects: Computing.

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