Snap Launches High Speed Portal, Adds Content Partners

Michele Masterson Associate Editor

NBC/CNET portal Snap
Tuesday released “Cyclone,” its next generation version for high-speed
users which incorporates rich media including video, audio, gaming,
animation and telephony services.

Cyclone will officially debut later in the first quarter and will be
carried by high-speed Internet providers including GTE InterNetworking, SBC
Internet Services, Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions, Epoch Internet,
JPSnet, DSLnetworks, EastLink Cable, and Triax Communications.

Individual ISPs will offer customized versions of Cyclone geared towards
specific communities and users. For example, GTE Internetworking will offer
a Cyclone versions to its Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
Internet access service. The service will also retain Snap content such as
news, finance, sports, entertainment, television, music, video, games,
movies, computing, shopping and travel.

Initial Cyclone partners also announced Tuesday under the SnapFirst content partner program
include: APB Online, Bloomberg, CMP Media’s TechWeb, CNBC/Dow Jones
Business Video, CNET, INTERVU Inc., MSNBC, NBC Entertainment, Preview
Travel, Quokka Sports, Resort Sports Network, The Rolling Stone Network,
SonicNet, Sony Online Entertainment,; Total Sports, UltimateTV,
VideoSeeker and WeatherLabs.

Cyclone will be offered as a free option via the Snap site. In addition,
Cyclone will be incorporated into all NBC Television Network analog and
digital enhanced broadcasts
and enhanced telecasts of CNBC programming. NBC and
CNBC’s enhanced telecasts will be available on TVs and personal computers
that use Microsoft WebTV,
Intel’s Intercast and similar technologies.

Initial e-commerce partners include iVillage
Inc., Preview Travel and Tower Records. Snap said it expects to announce
additional e-tailers in the coming months.

“Internet portal users who have access to higher-speed
Internet connections are looking for a rich, full experience, not just
text-based lists of Web sites,” said Halsey Minor, chairman and chief
executive officer of CNET Inc.

“With our
groundbreaking Snap Cyclone service, we will become the first Internet
portal company to offer these users the ability to move beyond text to a
world of video, audio, animation, and more.”

“The creation of Snap Cyclone
marks a major next step in the future of the Internet portal market and is
exactly the type of move we had in
mind when we first announced our initial deal to operate Snap,” said Tom
Rogers, president, NBC Cable and business development.

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