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@Home launches Web guide

The @Home Network strikes a pact with leading Internet companies to create a search and directory guide.

@Home Network today struck a pact with leading Internet companies to create a search and directory guide.

It is the latest effort by @Home, which provides high-speed Net access on cable systems, to beef up its product to meet increased competition. The fledgling, money-losing company also is preparing for a public offering of its stock.

The partners include Yahoo, Excite, Infoseek, Infospace, BigBook, Big Yellow, Zip2, Switchboard, and WhoWhere. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Starting today, @Home users can access the search and directory guide. The guide is divided into four categories: Web search, business, people finder, and software.

@Home also has created a so-called related resources area giving users access to sources such as Classifieds2000 and, an online personal site.

@Home also recently announced a deal to add the Microsoft Network to its lineup for an extra $6.95 per month.

@Home only has 5,000 subscribers at last count, but it recently has been ramping up its efforts after a slow start. The company faces competition from competing technologies such as ISDN and xDSL. In addition, many other cable operators, including TimeWarner and Continental Cablevision are rolling out their own Net access service.

Analysts say the jury is out whether enough consumers will want to pay $35 to $55 per month for the higher-speed service, not to mention the extra fee for content such as MSN.