SBC, Prodigy link in broadband Net push
(IDG) -- Telecommunications giant SBC Communications and ISP Prodigy Communications have teamed to deliver digital subscriber line broadband Internet access to consumers and small businesses.
SBC will take a 43% equity stake in Prodigy and will make Prodigy its Internet access service provider for its retail consumer and small business customers, according to the companies. In turn, Prodigy will manage SBC's 650,000 dial-up, ISDN and basic DSL customer base.
The deal should be transparent to customers and concerns consumers, not business customers, according to Steven Hubbard, senior vice president for Internet strategic markets at SBC.
"What we do want is to make this ... as simple as possible" for consumers, Hubbard says.
The agreement will not affect pricing. The current retail charge for DSL service from SBC is $49 per month for transport and Internet access and that will not change, according to the companies.
The agreement is expected to close in three to six months and will help SBC deliver on Project Pronto. Project Pronto is the $6 billion overhaul of SBC's network to focus on DSL announced last month, company officials say.
SBC owns a number of regional telephone companies in the U.S., including Southwestern Bell, Ameritech, Pacific Bell, SBC Telecom, Nevada Bell and SNET. It also owns Cellular One and has investments in 22 countries outside of the U.S.
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