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BT beds down with Yahoo!

Openworld is to be rebranded yet again
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

Openworld is to be rebranded yet again

A new partnership between BT and Yahoo! will see the telco's Openworld service rebranded as BT Yahoo!. The deal, announced on Monday, means BT will end its alliances with some existing partners as it plumps for Yahoo!'s Internet content and security services. This will include antivirus, anti-spam and firewall software and parental controls on Web access, as well as other services not yet launched by Yahoo!. The move, according to BT, is a key part of its strategy to maintain the boom in broadband take-up, although there will also be a BT Yahoo! narrowband service. Duncan Ingram, managing editor of BT Openworld, said: "We realise that if BT's broadband targets are to be achieved we need to offer much more compelling content and services, and to partner with a world-class content provider. If you want an easy-to-use internet experience that gives you rich content from one portal, you'll want this." Previously, BT Openworld has attempted to compete with rival ISPs by creating its own web content. It now appears that the telco thinks its best hope of competing with the likes of AOL is to stick to providing high-speed internet access and customer support and billing, and leave the service side to other companies. Ingram denied, though, that the new alliance with Yahoo! shows that BT's efforts in the content space have failed. "It's about both organisations looking forward at how we drive the take-up of ADSL," he insisted. BT Yahoo! will be launched in September, with existing BT Openworld users being migrated across in stages over a few months. There will be no increase in the monthly subscription cost, which is £29.99 per month for broadband, and users will keep their existing email addresses.
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