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Yahoo, SBC launch DSL service

The companies officially launch a co-branded DSL service, allowing Yahoo to compete with rivals in the high-speed Internet access market.

Yahoo and SBC Communications officially launched co-branded DSL service Friday, allowing the Web portal to compete with rivals in the high-speed Internet access market.

As previously reported by CNET, the launch includes a customizable browser, personal home pages, spam filters, parental controls and e-mail access.

Consumers will also get to choose premium services, such as online storage, bill payment and an online subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica.

The digital subscriber line service is available now in SBC's 13-state region. The service comes in three price ranges, based on the speed.

Basic service, ordinarily available for $42.95 per month, will be $29.95 per month for the first six months. That offers connection speeds of up to 384kbps.

The next level of service, at $49.95 per month, will also be offered for $29.95 per month for the first six months. It offers connection speeds of 384kbps to 1.5mbps.

The deluxe offering will cost $59.95 per month and will be discounted to $39.95 a month for the first six months. It offers speeds of 768kbps to 1.5mbps.

With the new service, Yahoo is taking on rivals America Online and Microsoft, both of which already combine content and broadband access. Yahoo has been talking about a broadband offering like this for a while, and Wall Street has been anxiously awaiting the results.

SBC and Yahoo signed a deal last year to offer high-speed service combined with content.

"We expect to continue innovating and adding new features, thus offering users an ever-expanding, engaging and useful broadband experiences," Yahoo CEO Terry Semel said in a release.

SBC will allow its existing DSL customers to switch to the co-branded service this fall and to keep their existing e-mail addresses. The companies also plan to offer a version of the service customized for businesses in 2003, although a higher-speed service with multiple static IP addresses is currently available for heavy Internet users and businesses.