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Prodigy Promotes DSL Content

Prodigy Communications Corp. hopes to capitalize on the popularity of its digital subscriber line service with the launch of its broadband centric Web site.

The site, available only to Prodigy's 2.6 million customers, features streaming media content on nine channels ranging from news to online games. It plans to add several new channels by the end of the year.

Susan Sachatello, Prodigy chief marketing officer, said the Internet Service Provider plans to leverage the success of its current DSL market, which recently surpassed the 800,000 mark for lines in service.

"Prodigy is now the largest consumer/small business retail ISP in the country thanks to our recent alliance with SBC Communications Inc., with over 246,000 Basic DSL Internet Service customers," Sachatello said.

"We plan to capitalize on this relationship not only for growth of our DSL subscriber base, but to lead the way for next-generation, broadband-enabled technologies such as exemplified with the launch of our DSL homepage>" Sachatello added. "This homepage is one of several new moves on Prodigy's part to accelerate our broadband offering, and solidify our position in the arena."

Charles Roesslein, Prodigy president and chief executive officer, said the homepage lets its DSL customers fully realize what high-speed Internet access has to offer.

"Our new DSL homepage is just the foundation for our ongoing efforts to make our members' broadband experience compelling and robust," Roesslein said. "Prodigy's strategy in being the country's number one high-speed consumer Internet service provider is not only to aggregate the best in major media content, but also to deliver customized and local applications, further realizing the power and uniqueness of the Internet as an alternative to traditional media. We envision Prodigy members using their DSL homepages as an 'always on' information and entertainment resource."

According to Prodigy's second quarter results it has 246,000 DSL customers, an increase from last year, which can be credited to its partnership with SBC and acquisition of FlashNet Communications Inc. .

"Prodigy made significant strides in strengthening its new role as the nation's largest provider of consumer and small business high-speed DSL Internet services," Rosslein said of the second quarter results. "As expected, the acquisition of FlashNet and our strategic alliance with SBC were both recently completed, allowing Prodigy to acquire their combined subscriber bases of more than 900,000 additional customers while benefiting from our combined sales and marketing distribution channels."

Prodigy has been aggressively pursuing DSL customers in its markets with promotions to lure customers to its services.

Prodigy and SBC teamed up earlier this month to market DSL service with customers receiving a free DSL-enabled Compaq Computer Corp. computer if they signed a two-year contract with Prodigy for DSL Internet access. In June, ZoneAlarm firewall software by Fire Zone Inc., was given out to DSL customers as a free download.