Free Internet service provider Juno Online Services Inc. is ready to consider a merger or acquisition of a competitor, Chief Executive Charles Ardai told Reuters on Friday.
Saying the free Internet Service Provider (ISP) model is dead, Ardai said “broadband as an important part of the future, but it’s not the centerpiece of our business.”
Juno is anxious to diversify its business and move into the super computing arena by using subscriber PCs to sell computational services to companies needing number crunching capabilities. Juno is also still negotiating a long-term agreement to offer high-speed services over AOL Time Warner Inc.’s cable lines, Ardai said.
Ardai did not give Reuters any indication that it is in discussions with a buyer or merger partner at present.
As online advertising spending decreases, companies like Juno are being forced to find other avenues of revenue. Concentrating primarily on providing Internet service, Juno has been trying to move its free Web access customers to a premium, billable service.
Despite constant rumors and urging to add Mac support over the years, Juno has shunned Mac users since its inception in 1996 and has refused to offer its free service to Mac customers.
In an interview with MacCentral last July, spokeswoman Becky Yeamans said, “To add Mac support requires a lot of man hours and manpower. We would have to add a substantial amount of Mac technical support on our support lines and then have to spend a great deal of money training them. We simply don’t feel the return is worth it at this time, but that is not to say we could change our minds down the road.”