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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  1. 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.

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