updated 05:00 pm EDT, Thu April 3, 2008
Slingshot prepaid wifi
Slingshot on Thursday announced it will offer pay-as-you go wireless broadband Internet access. Customers will be able to pick up CDs from retailers or download a free program and set up an account, and won't have to go through credit checks or sign any contracts, like they do with traditional Internet providers. A slingshot.com email address will be included with each packet of time purchased, though it is unclear exactly how time will be sold. For frequent users, the option of buying and loading up a recharge card is offered. What is likely is that some kind of adapter for notebook cards or USB modems will be required to sign on from remote locations.
Slingshot stresses the anonymity of its offering and compares the process to be as easy as one's purchase of a calling card for their cell phone. Support staff is also promised to be available to help talk customers through any potential problems.
Slingshot hints that DSL speeds for mobile computers and personal devices will be achievable, and features a WiMax logo on its site, suggesting the new high-speed wireless service will be part of the pre-paid picture.
The Wi-Fi service is scheduled to start on June 1 at select U.S. retailers and online, and should cost about 6 to 8 cents per minute, according to the company.