Can LinuxPC Grow Broadband Usage?

Unlike US, PC penetration is not that high even in many developed countries, such as France, thereby limiting growth opportunities for broadband service providers. Neuf Cegetel, a French ISP, thinks low cost Linux PCs are the answer. The company has come up with Easy Gate, a device that looks like a yogurt maker, but is a stripped down PC that runs Linux.

The ISP which plans to go public is targeting “technophobes” with this device, that will be bundled free with a 40 Euros a month broadband connection and unlimited calls to landlines in France. Users can buy a screen, keyboard and webcam for about €99. This will help the company grow its user base, especially since it faces a lot of competition from Free and France Telecom.

Actually, it is not such a bad idea and sounds more reasonable than the much hyped $100-laptop. Many hardware makers are currently working on developing low cost Linux PCs, and the prices can fall further. Previously I had written about Novatium, an Indian start-up which has similar ambitions.

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