RealTime IT News

Yahoo! the ISP

In an industry where announcements are generally made through canned new releases and press conferences, Yahoo! and SBC launched its co-branded service Thursday to a flurry of ad banners.

It's a novel approach that underscores both company's reliance on Yahoo!'s dominating Web presence to bring in new dial-up Internet subscribers. Both dial-up and digital subscriber line (DSL) service were launched concurrently.

The SBC-Yahoo! partnership has been in the works since last November, when officials from both sides agreed to a deal that would capitalize on the strengths of each. Yahoo!, as one of the most popular Web portals on the planet is well-suited as a content provider to SBC, which supplies the infrastructure (i.e., dial-up and DSL POPs).

In fact, in the months following the original arrangement, both company's further strengthened ties in light of the positive buzz the original announcement created, this time with a business broadband co-brand partnership.

SBC-Yahoo! have launched an aggressive marketing campaign to win converts over to its service. For its dial-up service, the first month is free and $21.95-a-month thereafter. SBC-Yahoo! DSL, on the other hand, is priced at $29.95 for the first six months (normally $49.95) of the 12-month contract.

For DSL, other speed options and discounts are available, though the Web site is promoting only the low-end asymmetric DSL offering (ADSL) now, since $29.95 sounds a lot better to migrating dial-up users for a 384 Kbps service than $39.95 a month for 768 Kbps ADSL does.

Included with SBC-Yahoo! dial-up and DSL accounts are 25 MB of online storage and a Web-based POP3 email account with 10 sub-user email addresses available through Yahoo!