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IndustryInternet services
FounderNick Grouf
Max Metral
David Waxman

PeoplePC is an Internet service provider owned by EarthLink.


PeoplePC was founded by Nick Grouf, Max Metral and David Waxman, and launched in the United States in October 1999.[1] It bundled personal computers with internet service and access to discounted products and services. Initially funded by SoftBank, the company's mission was to "democratize technology." Its business model included collective buying, which allowed the company to generate additional revenue from advertising, partnerships, and premium products.[2][3]

PeoplePC Advertisement

In February 2000, the company announced that they would provide PCs and Internet access to all of the employees of Ford Motor Co. and Delta Air Lines.[4] Ford announced a cooperation with PeoplePC shortly after and said they would provide all of their then 350,000 employees with internet access for as little as $5 a month.[4][5] The deal with Delta led to a total of around 420,000 potential new customers for PeoplePC.[6] The deal with Ford was eventually canceled.[7]

In October it was announced, that PeoplePC would open European subsidiaries to enable overseas corporations and governments to offer their employees low-cost home computers and Internet access and later developed partnerships with Vivendi Universal, The New York Times, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the National Trades Union of Singapore. PeoplePC donated internet access to low-income families through President Clinton's ClickStart initiative, and provided both computers and computer training to economically disadvantaged students through its PeopleGive program.[8][9][10][11]

PeoplePC debuted on NASDAQ in August 2000 under the ticker PEOP at $10 a share and its stock declined quickly. In 2002 the company was acquired by EarthLink.[12][13] PeoplePC has been managed by CEO Nick Grouf since 2002.[14]

Products and services[edit]

When the company started, PeoplePC focused on selling three-year memberships to consumers. As part of the membership, customers received a new computer, which was replaced every three years. They were also granted access to the company's buyer's club and were provided with Internet access and a warranty. PeoplePC then focused more on companies and their employees.[7]

Today PeoplePC offers internet services in the main categories internet access, security & tools, and website & marketing.[15] They also provide webmail service to their users without any extra charges.[16]


In 2006, J.D. Power and Associates ranked PeoplePC Online as the first value-priced dial-up provider to receive the highest ratings from customers in four factors: cost of service, billing, e-mail services, and offerings.[17]


  1. ^ David P. Hamilton. "Internet Veteran Will Introduce A Spin on the Free-PC Venture". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  2. ^ Gaw, Jonathan (October 4, 1999). "New Membership Club Offers PC, Discounts". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  3. ^ Spring, Tom (March 15, 2001). "PeoplePC broadens membership pitch". Computer World. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Ford Offers Home PC To Every Employee". The Washington Post. February 4, 2000.
  5. ^ Reuters (2000-02-05). "Delta to Help Employees Get on the Internet". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-08. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  6. ^ David P. Hamilton and Martha Brannigan. "Fledgling PeoplePC Lands Deals With Ford, Delta for Employees". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  7. ^ a b Dignan, Larry. "EarthLink's up with PeoplePC". CNET. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  8. ^ Kirby, Carrie (December 10, 2000). "CLICKING ON DREAMS / Oakland program attempted to bridge the digital divide before losing its connection". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  9. ^ Einstein, David (February 10, 2000). "Parlaying 'free' computers into big deals". Forbes. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  10. ^ Kirby, Carrie (February 5, 2000). "Power to the PeoplePC / S.F. startup is organizing Delta, Ford and ClickStart programs". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  11. ^ Flynn, Laurie J. (October 23, 2000). "TECHNOLOGY; PeoplePC Finds Niche in Corporate Sales". New York Times. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  12. ^ Lidsky, David (April 1, 2006). "The Cable Guys". Fast Company. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  13. ^ ROUNDUP, A. Wall Street Journal Online NEWS (2002-06-10). "EarthLink Agrees to Buy PeoplePC for $10 Million". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  14. ^ "Nick Grouf". Retrieved 2020-08-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "EarthLink Internet Services - Unlimit Your Options | Say No to Data Caps". EarthLink. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  16. ^ "PeoplepC Email Settings". SmtpImap. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  17. ^ PeoplePC’s Service Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction By J.D. Power and Associates Archived 2007-12-29 at the Wayback Machine., Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Survey, 2006

18. Peoplepc smtp Settings.

External links[edit]