Free DSL Internet Access Provider May Fail to Make a Profit

May 16, 2023
Justin Ankus


Newport Beach start-up company Broadband Digital Group recently began enrolling users for free digital subscriber line Internet access, in an attempt to capitalize on increasing consumer demand for high-speed net services. But its offer contains numerous qualifiers which could make it hard for free DSL services ever break even, according to industry experts.

Freedsl's primary drawback lies in consumers having to agree for BDG to sell their personal information to marketers and display ads when they go online, which may include showing users targeted advertisements based on what websites they visit regularly. BDG was founded by brothers Ryan and Chad Steelberg who are experienced at targeted internet advertising strategies.

No one in their Orange, California company could answer practical questions regarding their DSL service for free, such as how it would make money or where deployment will occur; but each brother indicated an intention of offering DSL at a reduced monthly price and in more locations around the nation. They didn't specify where exactly their services will be provided or even partner companies who could help answer deployment needs more adequately.

At this point, BDG is known only to have one known partner - Winfire, an independent software vendor owned in part by BDG and providing DSL management systems. Bell-Atlantic and Pacific Bell could become potential partners, though none has made decisions yet according to the company. BDG raised $3m (PS2m) from an Orange County venture fund and plans on relying on advertising revenue as its source for short term growth.

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