The navigation hub, in its first major distribution agreement with a supplier of high-speed access services, today said it is partnering with NorthPoint Communications to offer a version of Yahoo!'s service designed for high-speed users.
Yahoo! has been developing its broadband offerings under the name "Turbo Yahoo!" for more than a year, and earlier this year acquired streaming media service Broadcast.com. However, the deal with NorthPoint represents Yahoo!'s first formal efforts to package services specifically for broadband users.
The deal helps Yahoo! to play catch-up in the market. America Online already has signed a series of deals to offer its service in partnership with local Bell telephone companies. And the rival Excite navigation hub embraced the broadband market completely this year via its merger with the @Home high-speed cable service.
NorthPoint will market a cobranded version of Yahoo's personalized My Yahoo! start page as part of its Digital Subscriber Line services. NorthPoint now offers its high-speed DSL service in 31 markets and expects to reach more than 60 markets by the end of next year. The company sells its service via a network of 200 national and regional partners.
Yahoo! has a spotty record of success in bundling its services in partnership with access providers. The company's past partnerships with both AT&T and MCI WorldCom to offer Yahoo! enhanced versions of the telephone companies' access services met with limited success in the consumer market.
Yahoo! also will work with NorthPoint to develop systems that improve the delivery of Yahoo!-hosted streaming media content to NorthPoint subscribers.