NBC and CNET'S SNAP Announces Next Generation Internet Portal for High Speed Users
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New Snap Service Initially To Be Carried By GTE Internetworking, SBC Internet Services, Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions Epoch Internet, JPSnet, DSLnetworks, Eastlink Cable and Triax Telecommunications
Groundbreaking Initiative To Be Integrated Into NBC Television Network and CNBC Analog and Digital Enhanced Telecasts
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Snap, the Internet portal from NBC and CNET http://www.snap.com , today unveiled the future of Internet search and navigation services, becoming the first Internet portal to announce a new, free service designed for higher-speed users. Snap "Cyclone" (the code name for Snap's next generation portal) will provide Internet users with an experience that showcases all rich media types - video, audio, gaming, animation, telephony, and more - built atop the powerful Snap Internet directory and search service.
Snap "Cyclone," which will launch in the first quarter of 1999, will feature rich media content in all Snap topics: News, Finance, Sports, Entertainment, Television, Music, Video, Games, Movies, Computing, Shopping and Travel. Snap "Cyclone" will become the high-speed starting point of choice in the rapidly converging worlds of video, audio, communications and the Internet, offering users multimedia content and navigation services provided by a host of partners (See Related Release, "NBC and CNET's Snap Announces Initial Content Partners for Next Generation Portal for High Speed Users").
Snap "Cyclone" initially will be carried by high-speed Internet services offered by GTE Internetworking, SBC Internet Services, Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions, Epoch Internet, JPSnet, DSLnetworks, EastLink Cable, Triax Communications and others. Each carrier will make available customized versions of the Snap "Cyclone" portal service, developed exclusively for their users and communities. Additional high-speed Internet access services distributing Snap "Cyclone" will be announced in the coming months, as the service rolls-out.
Snap "Cyclone" also will be available as an option, free of charge at http://www.snap.com , designed for Internet users with higher-speed capabilities.
Snap "Cyclone" will be integrated into all NBC Television Network analog and digital enhanced broadcasts, and in enhanced telecasts of CNBC programming, 24-hours a day. NBC and CNBC's enhanced telecasts are viewable on TV sets and personal computers equipped with such technologies as Microsoft WebTV, Intel's Intercast and others.
Halsey Minor, Chief Executive Officer, Snap, said: "Internet portal users who have access to higher-speed Internet connections are looking for a rich, full experience, not just text-based lists of Web sites. With our groundbreaking Snap 'Cyclone' service, we will become the first Internet portal company to offer these users the ability to move beyond text to a world of video, audio, animation, and more. And only Snap provides a technology solution that allows multiple distribution partners to offer their users completely customizable versions of our high speed portal, attuned to the content and navigation needs of their customers."
Said Tom Rogers, President, NBC Cable and Business Development: "The creation of Snap 'Cyclone' marks a major next step in the future of the Internet portal market and is exactly the type of move we had in mind when we first announced our initial deal to operate Snap. Given CNET and NBC's content, distribution, industry relationships and expertise, Snap 'Cyclone' is best positioned to take the lead as the preeminent starting point for users who can take advantage of the riches offered by the converging worlds of video, multimedia and the Internet. We are excited to be able to offer this rich, new service via NBC and CNBC's analog and digital enhanced TV telecasts."
Snap "Cyclone" distribution partners each will receive customized versions of Snap "Cyclone," developed exclusively for their customers. To do so, Snap is harnessing the power of its proprietary Edition Management System to automate custom production processes.
GTE Internetworking, a unit of GTE Corp. providing Internet services nationwide, will make available a customized version of Snap "Cyclone" to subscribers of its ultra-fast Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) Internet access service. GTE Internetworking provides consumers, businesses, universities and Internet service provider customers with "always-on" high-speed Internet access and remote office connectivity services that help boost connection speeds to the Internet at rates up to 50 times faster than conventional modems. GTE Internetworking currently offers ADSL service in the following states: California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas, and plans to offer service in additional states this year. For additional information, visit http://www.gte.net.
"ADSL customers who subscribe to GTE Internet service will now be able to experience a more enriched environment at their fingertips with Snap 'Cyclone', " said Alex Coleman, Vice President-General Manager, GTE Internetworking. "We want to provide customers with the best Internet experience available. Offering high-value content and fast and reliable network access helps to differentiate GTE's Internet service from other ISP's."
SBC Internet Services, the nation's eighth-largest ISP, operating Pacific Bell, Southwestern Bell, Nevada Bell and SNET, will provide its high-speed Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) Internet customers with access to customized versions of the Snap "Cyclone" service. Snap "Cyclone" will provide SBC's high-speed customers with convenient, full-featured access to the rich multimedia content resources of the World Wide Web, as well as to customized SBC Internet customer service and account information. SBC customers will be able to quickly search the entire Web to find video/audio and textual information specific to their community, or access material tailored to their interests.
"Snap 'Cyclone's' rich media content and navigation services enable our DSL customers to reap the benefits of high-speed Internet access," SBC Internet Service President and CEO Steven Hubbard said. "This agreement with Snap solidifies the commitment to our nearly half-million customers that they will continue to receive best-in-class content, network performance, high-speed access and award-winning customer service."
SBC is undertaking the country's largest roll-out of ADSL technology, provisioning equipment in 526 central offices and bringing this service to 8.2 million residential customers and 1.3 million businesses by the end of the year. SBC's ADSL service enables customers to connect to the Internet at speeds up to 200 times faster than today's conventional 28.8 Kbps modems - for as low as $39 a month. In addition, ADSL service and Internet access packages will be available for prices starting at $49 per month.
Bell Atlantic's Personal, Professional and Power Infospeed packages, with speeds ranging from 640 Kbps to 7.1 Mbps, will offer the new Snap "Cyclone" service as the featured jumping-off point to the Internet and its rich media content and services. Bell Atlantic plans to make its Infospeed packages available in areas covering 7.5 million homes by the end of 1999, a number expected to nearly double to more than 14 million by the end of the year 2000. Bell Atlantic last fall launched its packages of DSL service and Internet access featuring a custom edition of Snap's flagship service, which included some multimedia content for Bell Atlantic Infospeed customers. Bell Atlantic's Infospeed DSL service is now available in parts of the Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas and in communities on New Jersey's Hudson River waterfront. The company will launch Infospeed DSL service in the New York and Boston metropolitan areas in the first quarter of 1999.
Epoch Internet http://www.eni.net , the nation's largest privately held Internet solutions providers, will provide its "TSpeed" high-speed Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Internet service customers with access to a unique, customized version of the Snap "Cyclone" service. Epoch Internet's low-cost, always-on TSpeed DSL service is available in multiple regions across the country, including Los Angeles, San Diego County, Orange County, Boston and Northern California. Users of Epoch's TSpeed DSL service will launch directly into a Snap "Cyclone" start page, providing convenient, full-featured access to the rich media resources of the World Wide Web. Epoch customers will be able to quickly search the entire Web to find video/audio and textual information specific to their community, or access material tailored to their individual interests. Epoch's TSpeed delivers dedicated Internet access at scalable speeds from 128 Kbps up to 1.5 Mbps - nearly 50 times faster than typical dial-up connections using modems and 10 times faster than ISDN service. End users can select from varying speeds according to individual company or user needs. Epoch offers high-speed, dedicated access products and analog dial-up access coast-to-coast from more than 200 Points of Presence (POPs).
Brian Scholte, Director of Product Management, Epoch Internet: "We are pleased to be able to distribute Snap 'Cyclone' as a start page for our DSL users across the nation. Small to medium-sized business customers are looking for fast attainable information on the net and Snap 'Cyclone' offers them a variety of valuable resources to pull from."
DSLnetworks, the only company to specialize exclusively in providing national Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) network access, broadband Internet connectivity and remote access solutions, will offer the Snap "Cyclone" portal as the homepage for its high-speed DSL customers. DSLnetworks' customers will launch directly into a customized version of the Snap "Cyclone" service, providing them with top-quality rich media content, as well as search and navigation services, customized just for them. DSLnetworks is currently rolling-out high-speed DSL Internet and network access to the top 20 metro markets, nationwide. The company offers complete DSL connectivity solutions in the San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, New York, Boston, Washington DC and Seattle, with plans to expand to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Portland by the end of 1999. The company offers multiple levels of service with data exchange rates from 128 Kbps to 1.5 Mbps downstream, and 128 Kbps to 1.1 Mbps upstream. DSLnetworks is also joining forces with Snap "Cyclone" to offer Snap "Cyclone" to Internet Service Providers participating in DSLnetworks' ISP Partner Program. DSLnetworks' ISP Partner Program supplies a bundled DSL Internet and network access solution to ISPs seeking to add national DSL connectivity to their service offerings.
JPSnet, a leading national Internet service provider, headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., will make Snap "Cyclone" the starting point for all its higher-speed Internet customers. JPSnet currently provides service to over 1,000 cities with more than 150 local access numbers. JPSnet's customized edition of Snap "Cyclone" will offer JPSnet's higher-speed users a service that combines the vast multimedia resources of the Web with access to localized JPSnet services, new offers and account support. JPSnet provides Internet access services throughout the state of California, and in the metropolitan areas of Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, New York City, Chicago, Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta, and Boston. JPSnet currently provides services for both personal and business customers including web hosting, e-commerce products and web page design. JPSnet http://www.jps.net is privately owned and operated.
Eastlink Cable's Andara high speed cable modem service will provide its customers with a custom version of the new Snap "Cyclone" service, bringing the best of the Internet's rich media types directly to user desktops. Eastlink Cable's Andara service, headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, offers access to the next generation of online services by providing the home with high speed Internet over the cable system at up to 100 times that of traditional telephone modems. Andara will offer a differentiated edition of Snap "Cyclone," providing users with local community information, customized to individual user needs. Andara offers full Web access, FTP and gaming functionality at blazing speeds. Users are always connected. No dialing in, no busy signals and no more hang ups. The Andara service allows users to experience the Internet at up to 5124Kb/s. Andara has both fiber optic, and framed T1 lines connecting to different service providers within the province. Being multi-homed on two major Canadian backbones (CA*Net and AT&T; Canada) gives Andara distinct advantages provided by redundant connections to the Internet and the routing of traffic to the fastest connections at a given moment.
Triax Telecommunications, the nation's 20th-largest cable systems operator, will offer Snap "Cycone" as the default starting point for high-speed customers of its Tri-Speed Internet cable modem and dial-up access service. Triax Telecommunications is rolling-out branded Tri-Speed Internet service offering high-speed cable modem and dial-up access in its multiple cable systems, beginning with cable systems in Minnesota and Illinois. Triax Telecommunications operates nearly 300 cable systems in such states as Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Minnesota.
Snap, the free Internet portal service from NBC and CNET (Nasdaq: CNET), offers the most powerful way to organize and find anything on the Internet. The service is logically arranged to give users the quickest route to the best of what they are looking for on the Web, providing efficient, high-quality search results and directory listings and the most often-used content.
At the heart of the Snap service is a directory of Web sites, built by a team of editors and reviewers to ensure its quality, freshness and usefulness. Users may either search the directory by using keywords, or browse through the directory's 16 topics: Arts & Humanities, Business & Money, Computing & Internet, Entertainment, Education, Health, Kids & Family, Living, Local, News & Media, Oddities, People & Society, Science & Technology, Shopping, Sports and Travel. Snap also features content from over 75 leading Web publishers. For Internet searching, Snap offers users highly efficient and effective searching capability online, by tightly integrating a high-quality topical Internet directory with an advanced search engine. Snap is available to all Web users at http://www.snap.com and is also distributed by more than 60 leading Internet Service Providers, PC manufacturers and third-party marketers.
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