Openworld Goes Yahoo!

A new partnership between BT and Yahoo will see the telco's Openworld service rebranded as BT Yahoo.

The Openworld brand has had a chequered career over recent years. Dubbed Openwoe by rivals -- and even some BT insiders -- because of its loss-making history, the ISP now boasts 330,000 broadband subscribers.

The deal, announced on Monday, means BT will end its alliances with some existing partners as it plumps for Yahoo's Internet content and security services. This will include antivirus, anti-spam and firewall software and parental controls on Web access, as well as other services not yet launched by Yahoo.

The move, according to BT, is a key part of its strategy to maintain the boom in broadband take-up, although there will also be a BT Yahoo narrowband service. "We realise that if BT's broadband targets are to be achieved we need to offer much more compelling content and services, and to partner with a world-class content provider.. If you want an easy-to-use Internet experience that gives you rich content from one portal, you'll want this," Duncan Ingram, managing editor of BT Openworld, told journalists.

Previously, BT Openworld has attempted to compete with rival ISPs by creating its own Web content. It now appears that the telco thinks its best hope of competing with the likes of AOL is to stick to providing high-speed Internet access and customer support and billing, and leave the service side to other companies.

News source: Yahoo News UK

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