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Ads pay for user Net access in Japan

A Japanese company wants to make Net access fees obsolete.

A Japanese-based company wants to make Net access fees obsolete. All users have to do is look at a few ads, just like TV.

Japanese-based Hyper Net began the service, called Hot Cafe, in April to lower the cost of expensive Internet connectivity in Japan. The company has 20,000 subscribers and predicts that it will sign up 1 million users in Japan by the end of the year. The California unit of the company has since adopted the idea and says it is currently in talks with three of the largest U.S. Internet providers to market the service, according to a Bloomberg report.

Users who sign up for Hot Cafe will be required to fill out a questionnaire regarding their purchasing habits and be asked what advertisements they do not want to see. Selected ads will appear along the edge of the screen every minute or so and in email messages.

The advertisers, including Mitsubishi Electric and Fuji Bank, pay the company every time their ads flash on a user's screen; Hyper Net, in turn, subsidizes the access charges for individual users. The company will also provide its service without advertisements but has not established what it will charge for access.

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