Four Online Directory Companies Launch New At Hand Network

Four major online directory companies said they are teaming up to form the At Hand Network Yellow Pages, a nationwide
network of Internet Yellow Pages services.


The At Hand Network is a business search service offering business listings
information nationwide. It is operated jointly by the Internet publishing
divisions of Ameritech, BellSouth, SBC Communications and U S WEST.


In June 1997, this group formed a marketing alliance that cooperatively
developed “The ‘Original Yellow Pages,'” a shared search page. The At Hand
Network expands this service, providing consumers with a common search form,
URL and accurate and complete electronic yellow pages information nationwide, the companies said.


In addition, the At Hand Network provides access to the search solutions these
companies offer and provides a foundation for the future development of a
network of services.


The group adopted At Hand as their common brand name, and the URL as their
shared search page. The former At Hand site, operated by SBC Interactive, was renamed SMARTpages, and covers the seven states served by Southwestern
Bell, Pacific Bell and Nevada Bell.


“The creation of the At Hand Network represents a significant advancement for
the companies involved”, said Donald J. Perozzi, group president BellSouth
advertising and publishing. “Because of the potential of the Internet as a new
medium, our customers need a place in this new space. Now, consumers have the
opportunity to go to one place for comprehensive, up-to-date yellow pages
information supported by four of the publishers in the industry. It is a very
powerful tool for users and advertisers.”


The At Hand Network offers millions of nationwide business listings and more
than 225,000 enhanced local merchant records, the companies said.


The At Hand Network is designed to feature a dual search screen interface that offers faster
business search capabilities and allows consumers to enter their selection
criteria directly on the At Hand Home Page. Search results will be provided
directly by the Web site operated by the online directory publisher serving
the specific city, state or region. Previously, consumers were directed to
select a state from a U.S. map and were linked to the appropriate yellow pages
Web site to conduct their search.


Listings for businesses located outside of the regions covered directly by the
four online directory companies will be provided by a nationwide database of
business listings. Searches for businesses in these states will be conducted
through the Web sites operated by Ameritech, SBC Communications and U S WEST
on a rotating basis.

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