Broadband Portal Blindness — Part II

from the they-can-get-it-themselves! dept

Back in March, when Comcast made some news for “upgrading” their broadband portal, we wondered whether or not people really cared about the portal their broadband service provider gave them. After all, the whole point of getting broadband is so that you can surf all over, and not just stay confined to the start page given to you by your provider. Obviously, plenty of folks who simply don’t care one way or the other are happy to take what their provider gives them as a start page — but, it still seems like it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Most people, once they become comfortable surfing the web can figure out what the best start page is for themselves — and it doesn’t have to have anything to do with their provider. However, with Verizon finally launching their Yahoo co-branded portal (which almost everyone in the press seems to forget they announced back in January), analysts are suddenly talking about how Yahoo has become the “special sauce” in the DSL equation… which is making folks wonder what those analysts are thinking. If anyone is choosing to go with Verizon or SBC just because of the Yahoo portal effort, then you have to wonder what they’re thinking. Yahoo has been pretty good about offering the same stuff for free to anyone who wants it. The deal makes sense for SBC and Verizon in that if they must offer something, why not go with the most popular provider of portals in Yahoo — but it’s hard to see it as a secret sauce since anyone else can get the same thing for free, no matter who their provider is.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Broadband Portal Blindness — Part II”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
acousticiris (user link) says:

Verizon should let its left hand know what it's ri

Verizon is a collection of separate companies operating under one name. Nothing is more evident than the decisions made by Verizon DSL.
This partnership with Yahoo! (from January as you mention) is being aimed at their DSL customers, so one would assume that if you’re going to use Yahoo! for one data service, perhaps it would be a good idea to use Yahoo! for your other data services… not so. A visit to shows how the other side of the disconnected corporate empire believes that the MSN “portal” is the way to go. Verizon Wireless is wrapped right up in MSN. So Verizon DSL gets Yahoo, Verizon Wireless gets MSN, perhaps their Dialup plan should go Lycos, or… wait… who else is still fussing around in this whole “portal” market in the first place?

mhh5 says:

Re: Verizon should let its left hand know what it'

Actually, Verizon DSL has a MSN portal option, too. Back in January, Verizon “added” Yahoo’s portal.. MSN’s portal has always been an option.. and continues to be, according to Verzion DSL…. Yahoo is probably just waiting to announce a mobile portal deal with Verizon Wireless, to get a second round of publicity or something.

DGK12 says:


It sounds like a scheme to convince people to stick with their current start page. I happen to have Comcast service (which I wholly regret) and this is the first I’ve heard about it. They ritualistically force you to use a start-page you likely don’t want, and people like me ritualistically change it back (assuming I let them touch my computer).
They think of it -with some sort of pride- as if it were an advertisement, reminding people “you’re relying on us” or possibly “we’re the ones getting your checks”. Either way I would prefer to forget whose getting my money, and get my service instead.

thecaptain says:

Re: Advertisement

These companies seem obsessed with the stupidest things and its not just Verizon either.

Our local ISP has a “start page/portal” and back in the day when you were NOT ALLOWED to install your own cable modem, it was interesting to watch the tech install my own.

After the plugging in, the installation of the network card (never mind him not noticing I already had one in) He says:

“Now we need to set up windows”

He installs the drivers.

“ok one last test”

Fires up netscape (at the time) and tries 2-3 sites, without a problem…then goes to the portal and opens the menu to make it my start page (instead of my own custom links page I had).

I stopped him: “What are you doing?”

Him: “I need to do this so your internet works properly, otherwise it won’t”

I couldn’t believe the stupidity. Took 45 mins arguing with him and his supervisor about this. Of course, I could have ignored it and changed it back, but it was the principle of the thing…

bob says:

Comcast has a portal?

I’ve had comcast boradband fo ralmost three years now and I’ve never used their portal once. I’ve never even used my @comcast email address.
ISPs need to stop being some kind of content provider and concentrate on giving us the best pipe they can.
The cable in my wall is the same as the street in front of my house. I use is to get where I want to go. I don’t expect my city to provide me with a transportation “portal” at the end of my driveway. I don’t expect my cable company to do that either.

jeremiah (user link) says:


I’ll tell you what analysts are thinking: “If I write nice stuff about how awesome (insert major global brand here) is, they’ll give me sweet big-font props in their literature and web sites. My name next to (insert major global brand here) gives validation to my fragile ego at the same time creating an impression of relevance, therefore my pay rate increases.”


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...