Prodigy and Bell Atlantic Partner to Provide High-Speed Access for Prodigy Customers
Leading ISP to Offer DSL Upgrade Beginning This Summer in Northeast
May 24, 1999
|Media contact:||Mary C. Matalobos, Prodigy|
Maureen Flanagan, Bell Atlantic
WHITE PLAINS, NY and NEW YORK -- Prodigy Communications Corporation (NASDAQ NMS: PRGY) and Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL) have formed a strategic alliance to provide high-speed Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) access for Prodigy residence and business customers in the Bell Atlantic service area.
The partnership will enable Prodigy customers to gain access to the Internet at speeds up to 7.1 megabits or 125 times faster than today's fastest 56 kilobit modems. The high-speed access is made possible by Bell Atlantic's Infospeed DSL service, which provides an "always on" Internet connection.
The agreement marks the first step in Prodigy's plan to make high-speed access available to its customers nationwide.
"Our partnership with Bell Atlantic is part of our plan to give Prodigy members access to the information they want from any type of device, over any kind of network," said Bill Kirkner, Prodigy's chief technology officer. "We're bringing the next generation of access to our customers."
This summer, Prodigy will begin to offer Bell Atlantic's Infospeed DSL access as a premium upgrade for Prodigy members in the Northeast, as the technology becomes available in major markets. This feature will provide Prodigy members with always-on, high-speed bandwidth to their personal computers over existing telephone lines.
Bell Atlantic, which launched its DSL service last October, plans to make the technology available in areas serving more than 8 million households by the end of 1999 and 16 million by the end of the year 2000.
"This alliance with Prodigy signals Bell Atlantic's commitment to becoming a premier provider of high-quality, high-speed data services to businesses and consumers in our service area," said Bruce Gordon, group president, Bell Atlantic Enterprise Business. "Bell Atlantic is committed to partnering with leading Internet Service Providers to deliver fast, affordable Internet access to customers throughout the Northeast."
Prodigy will begin offering DSL access to its customers in parts of Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburgh, Boston and New York City in as little as 60 days. Additionally, Prodigy will roll out to other Northeast markets as Bell Atlantic expands its DSL deployment this year.
"Our customers are already beginning to turn from traditional media to new networks and devices as a primary source of information and entertainment," said Kirkner. "Our partnership with Bell Atlantic marks one additional step in our broader longer-term strategy of fulfilling those needs."
Pricing for the service is not yet finalized, but Prodigy expects its DSL access will be competitive with other high-speed offerings.
About Bell Atlantic:
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.
About Prodigy Communications Corporation:
Prodigy Communications Corporation is a leading nationwide Internet service that provides fast and reliable Internet access and related value- added services. Prodigy utilizes a nationwide network covering more than 750 cities in all 50 states allowing approximately 83% of the United States population to access Prodigy's services with a local telephone call. Prodigy Internet enables the Internet to be used as a productivity tool by allowing subscribers to obtain and communicate desired information quickly and efficiently in an easy and personalized manner.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward- looking statements are the intense competition in the Company's industry, a change in the expected benefits to the Company as a result of the agreement with Bell Atlantic or its termination under certain circumstances, possible unfavorable regulatory agency ruling, disruption in the Company's network services or in other services provided by third parties, the impact of year 2000 issues, as well as the risk factors detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.