Concentric Renews WebTV Partnership

Microsoft Corp.’s WebTV
Networks Inc.
has renewed its agreement with Internet provider Concentric Network Corp. to provide
Internet access to owners of the set-top boxes.

The new two-year deal becomes effective Jan. 1. In November, WebTV said
Concentric would provide increased dial-up capacity during the holiday
season, when the service typically sees a large influx of new subscribers.
Concentric has provided dial-up services to WebTV since July 1996. It
serves owners of both the WebTV Classic and Plus set-top boxes.

Officials from both companies characterize the deal as a win-win.

“Concentric Network and WebTV Networks have been working closely together
for more than two years and we are pleased to continue our relationship
into the next century. We are committed to delivering high-performance
network connectivity to WebTV-based customers around the country,” said
Mark Fisher, senior vice president and general manager of Concentric’s
network services division.

“WebTV Networks is very pleased to renew our relationship with Concentric.
Concentric continues to provide high quality and reliable dial-up IP
service which benefits our WebTV Network service customers and underpins
the successful working relationship we initially established in 1996,” said
Bill Yundt, vice president of WebTV Networks.

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