RealTime IT News

Yahoo!, MCI Launch Online Service

Yahoo! Inc. and MCI Telecommunications Corporation joined forces today to launch a new co-branded online service called Yahoo! Online powered by MCI Internet.

The announcement is further evidence of Yahoo!'s rapid expansion from its origins as a navigation guide to that of a full-blown online service that will compete with the likes of America Online, CompuServe, MSN, and C Net's Snap!

The companies are billing the service as one that aims to offer consumers an alternative to current Internet online services, allowing them to explore the Net with nationwide dial-up access coverage.

Yahoo! Online users will be able to access the service via local phone numbers in major metropolitan areas with X2 modem capability. Subscribers will use a customized browser that incorporates Yahoo! aggregated content.

Yahoo! says it plans to offer consumers value-added features in online content, communications, community, and e-commerce services through its over 300 content, products, and services partners.

Yahoo! Online users will also be given access to free member communication and community services, which include e-mail, chat, message boards, and classifieds.

"Through our partnership with MCI, Yahoo! Online will provide a complete solution for new Internet users as well as Yahoo!'s current customers who have been accessing our services from work, school, and public access points and would like personal access from home," said Jeff Mallett, chief operating officer of Yahoo!

"Yahoo! Online takes advantage of our existing business and services while extending our distribution both online and offline to offer Internet users all the value of Yahoo! with the great reliability of MCI's Internet network."

Yahoo!'s position as one of the leading resources on the Internet was also cemented today with the news that it was the number one destination for users in December, according to Internet research firm RelevantKnowledge Inc.