Co-marketing agreement allows families and businesses to easily network PCs to enjoy the benefits of DSL
IRVING, Texas; IRVINE and ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - GTE (NYSE: GTE), Linksys, and buy.com (Nasdaq:BUYX) today announced the industry's first collaboration to expand the benefits of DSL broadband technology by easily networking PCs in homes and small offices for Internet access. The companies have developed an online solution for the consumer which simplifies the DSL service signup process, identifies network hardware needed and allows for easy online purchasing of that hardware.
GTE and Linksys (a leading manufacturer of broadband networking and networking hardware for home and small to medium business users) have developed the Broadband Online Center (BOC) http://broadband.linksys.com/gte.asp to educate users about DSL and networking. The BOC site gives consumers a complete solution -- from DSL line qualification (GTE) to hardware configuration (Linksys) to the completion of the order (buy.com, a leading multi-category Internet superstore and low-price leader). This eliminates the confusion of ordering network equipment with their DSL connection.
In addition, the BOC site provides consumers with easy-to-understand information about DSL, networking terminology, the differences between cable and DSL, and the benefits of a DSL network. Visitors can also walk through the quick and simple process that helps them determine the exact Linksys product needed to get all their PCs connected to a DSL modem for high speed, always on Internet access. Consumers can purchase these products with a simple click that will take them to the "checkout basket" at buy.com's site.
"We're committed to providing our residential and small business customers with a complete DSL package that easily and cost-effectively answers their needs. That is why we teamed up with Linksys and buy.com," said Jeff Bolton, director of data access products and services for GTE. "Linksys has one of the most complete line of networking products on the market and has developed an aggressive broadband market strategy that brings value to our DSL customers. We also know that Linksys will continue to accommodate our consumers with leading edge solutions that will further enhance their broadband experience."
The Yankee Group anticipates that there will be 7 million DSL users by 2004. The home network market is expected to grow from 650,000 today to over 10 million home networks by 2003. GTE expects to have over 200,000 DSL subscribers by the end of 2000.
Meredith Rosenberg, director of consumer market convergence at the Yankee Group said, "Broadband access is helping to fuel the growth for the number of networked homes while also enticing home networks that are using dial up service to upgrade to broadband access like DSL or cable. The approach provided by GTE, Linksys and buy.com may also encourage other markets to set up similar relationships."
Janie Tsao, Linksys vice president of business development said, "We recognize that broadband access is driving sales of home networking products and working with GTE will enable us to offer broadband networking solutions that will be demanded by DSL users. In order to fulfill the orders coming in from GTE we have selected buy.com as our exclusive sales agent. buy.com has been selling Linksys products for almost two years and we are highly confident they will contribute to the overall success of the program we have developed."
Mike Walkey, VP of product management at buy.com said, "The synergies between all of us are what brought us together to develop an end-to-end purchase cycle. We are addressing the same customer - the Internet user and we are all after the same goal - to provide the consumer with products they need now and at prices they can afford."
More information about signing up for GTE's DSL service can be found on their website at http://www.gte.com/dsl.
With 1999 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry's broadest arrays of products and services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 18 states, as well as nationwide long-distance, directory, and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. Outside the United States, the company serves customers on five continents. Additional information about GTE can be obtained at http://www.gte.com.
GTE's community and philanthropic programs target excellence in education, particularly math, science, technology and literacy. GTE also supports job training, delivery of health and human services, and the arts. The company's newest program is GTE Reads, a public charity designed to create public awareness, increase fundraising and support organizations dedicated to improving America's literacy levels. GTE customers can contribute to GTE Reads by checking off a box on their bill. Others can contribute through GTE Superpages.com (http://www.superpages.com).
buy.com, a leading Internet superstore and the low-price leader, offers more than 850,000 SKUs in a broad range of categories including computer hardware and peripherals, software, consumer electronics, books, videos, DVDs, games, music, golf, clearance equipment and travel booking services. buy.com is also the title sponsor of the BUY.COM TOUR. Product reviews in our technology categories, easy search functionality across all categories, product recommendations, best sellers, and music clips are among some of the features that help customers make better buying decisions. Individuals and businesses can shop at buy.com 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as track packages online and have access to personal customer service representatives all day, everyday. The company's virtual operating model allows for better efficiency and scalability into new categories quickly, helping provide the best customer experience with one-stop shopping, broad selection and a low price guarantee. buy.com, founded in June 1997, is located in Aliso Viejo, and expands globally into the Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information visit our Web site at http://www.buy.com.
Irvine, Calif.-based Linksys has been the number one manufacturer of networking hardware in the retail channel for the past three and a half years -- currently owning about 30% of the market. Through this position, Linksys has become the fastest growing networking hardware manufacturer in the distribution channel. Linksys provides broadband networking and networking solutions including Network Starter Kits, Phoneline networking solutions, 10BaseT and 10/100 Hubs, Switches, PC Cards, Network Interface Cards, Routers, Bridges, Network Attached Storage, USB solutions and Print Servers for workgroup and enterprise networks. The Company's value-priced networking products are favorites among network installers for speed, price, reliability, ease of installation and widespread compatibility. Linksys sells its networking solutions to Fortune 1000 companies and institutions through leading master distributors, computer resellers, and E-commerce and retail stores worldwide. . For more information please visit Linksys' website at http://www.linksys.com.
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