Yahoo! Co-Brands Verizon FiOS

Verizon on Thursday replaced Microsoft's MSN with Yahoo! as the default Web portal for its FiOS Internet service. FiOS--known also as a fiber-to-the-premises network--offers far faster broadband speeds than standard DSL.

The company is offering a variety of speeds--ranging from 30 megabits-per-second downstream and 5 Mbps upstream, for $180 a month, to 5 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream, at a cost of around $35 a month. FiOS subscribers will also get many Yahoo! premium services at no additional charge.

Yahoo! spokeswoman Nicole Leverich said that the company was willing to offer the free premium services in order to sign up additional broadband users. "It's very important for us to reach those consumers who demand higher Internet speeds, and are at the forefront of technology," said Yahoo! spokeswoman Nicole Leverich.

Last summer, Verizon replaced Microsoft's MSN with Yahoo! as the default Web portal for its DSL service. In turn, Verizon aligned a Yahoo!-branded Web browser and default home page for all its new broadband users.

Yahoo! has a similar arrangement with SBC Communications, the second-largest U.S. local telephone carrier behind Verizon. As with Verizon, Yahoo! receives a cut of revenue for every new broadband subscriber, while the providers get a piece of online advertising, search, and premium services dollars through Yahoo!

Like SBC, Verizon is spending billions of dollars extending its fiber-optic network across the United States. It plans to sell video programming through its fiber lines on top of speedier Internet access. Cable broadband typically costs about $45, but the Bells have priced their DSL as low as $14.95.

MSN and Verizon struck an exclusive agreement in June 2002. Although no longer exclusive, the partnership still exists.

The 15 states in which Verizon FiOS is available include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia. It will be available in Washington later this year.

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