Yahoo hits home on Net access service

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

CNET News.com

Yahoo and SBC Communications have quietly launched a dial-up Internet service that ties the portal's content with the Baby Bell's Web access network.

The service, called "SBC Yahoo Dial," has already launched in Connecticut for subscribers to SNET's dial-up Net access service, which is owned by SBC. The co-branded service will launch in other SBC regions across the nation over the next few months.

"We're making a measured roll out," Yahoo spokeswoman Helena Maus said. "We expect the service to roll out nationally sometime in the second quarter."

The partnership between Yahoo and SBC marks the first time the Web portal will receive a cut of Net access subscription fees. Yahoo has touted the partnership, inked in November 2001, as its most aggressive foray into selling dial-up and high-speed DSL (digital subscriber line) services.

As part of its corporate restructuring under CEO Terry Semel, Yahoo has been trying to grow its non-advertising revenue by emphasizing fees from premium services. Semel has told Wall Street and investors that the SBC deal will let Yahoo sell high-speed access bundled with the portal's premium services to consumers.

Yahoo's revenue shift has shown some progress. The company is beginning to generate revenue from its partnership with paid-search engine Overture Services, its acquisition of job-listing site HotJobs.com and its personals business. But advertising continues to make up the largest part of its overall revenue, and ad revenue showed a further decline last quarter.

As for its deal with SBC, the new service will charge $21.95 a month for Net access. It includes a customized Web browser that links directly to Yahoo's services and content pages such as its instant messenger, news links, stock quotes and streaming video.

Added perks for subscribers include 60MB of storage for Yahoo Photos and Briefcase, three free listings on SBC Yahoo classifieds and auctions listings, and an SBC Yahoo Mail account.

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