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Verizon Launches Low-Priced DSL, Partners With Yahoo

Verizon Communications Inc. on Monday launched a low-priced, high-speed Internet service aimed at dial-up users reluctant to switch to higher-cost broadband, and also unveiled a partnership with Yahoo Inc., which will provide Internet services for Verizon customers.

The Verizon deal is similar to one Sunnyvale, Calif.-based, Yahoo has with SBC Communications Inc. Both companies, however, said in a teleconference with reporters that the Yahoo offerings would be exclusive to areas where Verizon does not compete directly with SBC, and vice versa. Verizon also has a similar deal with Microsoft Corp.'s MSN, but Yahoo would be the "default" service provider.

Verizon is charging $14.95 a month for digital subscriber line, or DSL, service with a maximum download speed of 768 kilobytes per second. The company will continue to offer higher-priced services of 1.5 megabytes per second and 3 MBPS.

Bob Ingalls, president of the Retail Markets Group for New York-based Verizon, said the company wasn't dropping its price for DSL, but was offering a new product for specific market segment. He also said the service was not being offered below cost, in order to attract customers, and was not a promotion. To get the low price, people would have to sign annual contracts.

"It's a long-term strategy, not a loss leader," Ingalls said.

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