Everyone seems to be online these days. And if they're not, Peter Kusner, president and CEO of Cleveland-based Revolution Communications, has just the solution: prepaid Internet. Since 1999, Kusner has fought to "bridge the digital divide that's out there" between affluent and inner-city neighborhoods by bringing the Internet to consumers who don't own computers or have bad credit.
Customers of Kusner's plan buy computer terminals just for surfing the Web that come with a touchscreen and a telephone. Kusner charges $399 for the Web terminal, a $79 activation fee and $44.95 per month for prepaid Internet and local phone service. No credit checks are involved because the phone and Internet bills are prepaid, and although the Web terminal's price tag is steep, Kusner hopes to lower it in the future with the help of sponsors.
After great success selling prepaid cell phones and pagers in inner cities, Kusner knew this underserved market would likely embrace prepaid Internet.
"The easier you make it, the more people will get on the Net," says Kusner, who expects his number of prepaying customers to increase from 2,500 to 20,000 this year. "[And that] brings more value to the Internet."
- CPG Field Trips Factory Inc., 1735 N. Paulina, #402, Chicago, IL 60622, (888) 205-8782