Bellsouth and Yahoo Riding Broadband Express

    October 17, 2005

The broadband express is running from Atlanta to Sunnyvale via the internet railroad in a new strategic alliance announced on Monday. The plan will co-brand the two companies and allow the Yahoo train to run on Bellsouth DSL rails and give Bellsouth users the option to have the Yahoo platform to provide their service.

Bellsouth is a nine state regional phone service based in the southeastern U.S. They’re also co-owners of the Cingular cell phone company along with SBC. The new services will start sometime in later 2006 and will take Bellsouth’s FastAccess DSL service and allow Bellsouth customers to overlay Yahoo’s products if they so desire.

“BellSouth’s alliance with Yahoo! is a key part of our ongoing effort to enhance our customers’ online experience,” said Keith Cowan – president of marketing and product management, BellSouth.

“We are committed to offering a broadband service that exceeds customer expectations and are excited at the prospect of partnering with Yahoo! to provide this new co-branded service.”

Bellsouth users will have access to all the tools Yahoo offers including the homepages, email, photo sites like Flickr, internet radio and lots of other features.

“Yahoo! is focused on delivering the best possible products to our users, and we are excited to partner with BellSouth to bring unique content, powerful security features and award-winning communications tools to consumers throughout BellSouth’s region,” said Dan Rosensweig, chief operating officer, Yahoo! Inc.

“This new BellSouth relationship, in combination with our existing broadband alliances, gives Yahoo! the opportunity to distribute a high-quality broadband experience to consumers across the vast majority of the United States.”

Yahoo already has something like this with SBC. The plan new package will offer Bellsouth users some new benefits and this is a great move against the competition, particularly since Google is still playing with the idea of free wifi access for people.

As major telecom mergers like SBC/ATT are finishing, one has to wonder what’s in store for Bellsouth and where they will fit into this changing telecom world that now includes ISPs, cable companies, traditional phone companies and even potentially Google, Yahoo and others.

Bellsouth will be ripe for the picking once the other telecom deals are done and will be one of the few major regional carriers left intact. Could someone like Yahoo be considering a purchase of a company like Bellsouth? It would certainly give them access to a lot of telecom tools and while Bellsouth is just regional, it could be expanded quickly enough.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.