by Mike Masnick

Do Portal Deals Make Sense For Broadband Providers?

from the yeah,-but-why? dept

There's lots of talk today about Verizon's deal with Yahoo to offer a portal service for Verizon DSL customers. I've been avoiding talking about it all day, because it doesn't seem like a big deal. However, with all the press coverage, it does seem worth a mention -- for the specific reasons why this isn't a big deal. These deals represent a broadcast view of the world, suggesting that people need to have online content handed to them in a package, like the way they get television channels. The internet is wide open. I currently have DSL from SBC at home. Technically, it's SBC Yahoo DSL, but I have no idea what the Yahoo part is, because I'm getting the DSL so I have a connection to the internet, and not because of any special content or services I want from Yahoo. Sure, Yahoo will get a few more users, and Verizon no longer needs to worry about what to put on a front page that few people use, but in the grand scheme of things, this deal doesn't mean very much.

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  • identicon
    Beck, 17 Jan 2005 @ 6:51pm

    Email Address

    Doesn't it mean that SBC and Verizon DSL customers get an @yahoo.com email address?

    Yahoo email addresses do not carry much cachet, and some ecommerce sites refuse to do business with a person who uses a yahoo (or other free) email address because of the fraud associated with free email addresses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jan 2005 @ 8:40pm

    and a couple of free "premium thingies"

    You also get a couple of free premium extra's from Yahoo. I forget the details, but you get a couple of choices of all their premium stuff, like extra space to store pictures, games etc.

    Of course you have to either install their CD (which I never do, for those that are curious you can register without their CD, just ask how when you order service), or go and register for the free stuff (which I never bothered to do).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jan 2005 @ 10:20pm

    It's often worse than the free portal

    In fact, using Yahoo with SBC is actually less useful than for free Yahoo users. I make extensive use of Yahoo's great yellow pages, and it's integration with the My Yahoo page -- I want to find a business near my home or work, I type in the name, choose my home or work address from a drop-down, and click a button. But with SBC-Yahoo's My Yahoo page, Yahoo's yellow pages isn't available -- you're forced to use the SBC Yellow Pages, which makes you type in the "nearby" address or zip code every time. As a result, I signed up for a second Yahoo account, just so I could continue to use the yellow pages feature.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan Neuman, 19 Jan 2005 @ 10:36am

    Rogers Yahoo!

    Rogers is a cable company in Canada. They started their cable modem service with @Home providing the e-mail and web hosting management. When @Home went under, Rogers had to create their own system. It took a couple of years to get it right, but it worked well enough.
    They recently switched over to Yahoo! to manage their Internet services. I keep my @rogers.com e-mail, but I get a number of new features, like spam filtering, virus filtering, better web-mail with a 2 GB limit, disposable e-mail addresses to give out to marketers, and now my web pages will be hosted by Geocities (probably a better solution than the no-frills system Rogers was using). There's also a photo album service I now get, with photo printing (not sure who handles it in Canada).
    I'm pretty happy with the new system. Rogers sticks to the communications side and pays Yahoo! to look after what they already do fairly well, so I think everybody wins.
    I suspect that each provider negotiates a separate deal with Yahoo!, so your mileage may vary.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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