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Own-Branded You Can Really Own

ISPs have a new choice in the own-branded services space. CMGI's high-tech power-behind-1stup, NaviPath, today announced its Navi499 offering, a service that will enable ISPs to offer Internet service at $4.99 per month.

ISP-Planet profiled NaviPath's technology when the company was called NaviNet, in the article, "Dial Access with Depth." The company offers a high-availability, better-than-average access network with switch bypass technology that avoids Internet congestion. NaviPath's core network is deployed across the US.

NaviPath's systems architecture includes backoffice capabilities that are augmented by other CMGI companies, such as SalesLink (which can make own-branded CD's to order) and Engage (which can help with advertising and media sales).

Some features of the Navi499 service are not offered by other providers, such as the "One Account" architecture that enables users to maintain a single identity, even if, for example, the user switches service types. Gene Boucher, Director of NaviOne Services Marketing, told us that the Navi499 service requires customization, and that clients should have a subscriber base of at least 25,000 in order to recoup costs.

He said, "Unlike many other suppliers, NaviPath does not assume ownership of the subscriber information gathered via the Navi499 service." He added that although the subscriber data resides on NaviPath equipment, it is owned by the ISP, unlike other own-branded offerings which require ISPs to share subscriber information with the offering company.

Gene Boucher concluded, "I think this is the most flexible branded Internet offering at this price level, and that no other service offers this level of branding, nor do competitors allow clients to retain ownership of their subscriber data."

Alex Goldman is Associate Editor of ISP-Planet