It’s easy to forget just how quickly technology can change culture. A recent review of the FreedomPop phone service really brings it into perspective though. At first glance FreedomPop might seem like one choice among many for someone looking for a new phone service provider. The author of the article brings something into the forefront. He’s goes on a bit about the fact that there was a time when people really didn’t think that the internet was something that people should pay for. It was a time when the internet itself was a bit like the wild west. It was untamed and full of unexpected surprises. Over time that view changed as a culture grew up around it. Today the internet is more like electricity. It’s something that most people need. At the same time though, it’s something people just expect to pay for.
The FreedomPop review delves into a company which has a differing opinion. The company, FreedomPop, does offer free internet service. Anyone can sign up and get 500MB of mobile data for free. And that’s not a one time offer either. That 500MB of data rotates, so that it’s refilled every month. Along with that one will have 200 minutes of talk time on a compatible phone. The article also makes an interesting point about how the system’s data connections relate to the world.
Most phone companies are fairly old at this point. They usually rose up well before the internet came about, or at least the modern web as people know it today. Any interfacing those companies do with the internet came about as an afterthought. Those are additions added to their preexisting infrastructure. This is very different from FreedomPop, which is a fairly recent addition to the market. FreedomPop was started in 2011, long after the modern web was a reality in most people’s lives. As such they’ve been able to create a new infrastructure which takes full advantage of the modern internet. For example, texting over a voice connection is a bit counter intuitive. It’s something that only came about due to the fact that other phone companies were built on a platform where voice was the only option for a long time.
FreedomPop is able to make a more logical and efficient connection to send texts over a mobile data connection. The modern internet integration goes even further. For just $5, a free FreedomPop plan can be upgraded to take advantage of millions of WiFi spots all over the planet. One will then have full use of them, and in effect gain almost unlimited internet usage when near them. This is just one of the ways that FreedomPop is bringing the spirit of the old internet into the reality of today’s world.