MSN High-Speed Marketplace Provides One-Stop Convenience For Broadband Shoppers

REDMOND, Wash., July 29, 2003 — A new online destination from MSN®
takes the guesswork and much of the time out of finding good deals and comparison shopping for high-speed Internet access. Additional offerings and information services are planned for the new MSN site in the coming months to enhance many activities that broadband users enjoy.

A preliminary version of the MSN High-Speed Marketplace ( ) debuts Wednesday with its first offering: a broadband Internet access marketplace that provides detailed information about plans and pricing options — and qualifies consumers for offers in their local area — from multiple high-speed providers within the United States, including BellSouth, Charter Communications, Comcast, Qwest and Verizon Online.

“People don’t have time to scour the Web for the best deal on broadband service,”
said Richard Bray, vice president for MSN North America.
“The MSN High-Speed Marketplace takes the legwork out of finding great deals by bringing together information consumers need to choose a broadband provider in their area and making it very easy for consumers to sign up.”

With broadband Internet access in U.S. homes expected to increase significantly over the next few years, millions of consumers will be looking to learn more about broadband and sign up for service. Consumers today face an array of choices, and many find it difficult to understand their options. It is time-consuming to evaluate the various options and pricing by visiting many sites or calling multiple phone numbers.

The MSN High-Speed Marketplace seeks to solve this problem by providing side-by-side comparisons of broadband service options in a consumer’s service area and other valuable information. For each provider, detailed information about the types of service, access methods, and setup and monthly fees are provided, along with information about any special offers. Consumers can sort the broadband offerings in their area code by costs and other factors, learn about the different plan offerings, and then subscribe to one of the services. Those who choose to subscribe to a broadband service through the marketplace also will have the option of subscribing to MSN 8 Internet Software — a premium Internet service with advanced communications and online browsing tools, parental controls and patented protections against unsolicited e-mail — and receive special promotions available exclusively to users of MSN High-Speed Marketplace.

Eight Broadband Providers Are Included in Initial Offering

The referral program will include services from eight broadband providers: BellSouth, Charter Communications, Comcast, DIRECWAY, Mediacom, Qwest, Sprint and Verizon Online.

“The MSN High-Speed Marketplace provides Verizon with another alternate distribution channel to promote Verizon Online DSL with MSN 8 to people who are searching for broadband service options,”
said Judy Verses, senior vice president for Verizon Communications.
“We’re confident that these consumers will see that our DSL offering is both robust and competitively priced.”

MSN Expands Offerings for Broadband Users

MSN — the No. 1 destination online for broadband users who access the Internet from home and work* — plans to add to its broadband content and services by adding information, reviews and special offers for broadband-related products and services to the MSN High-Speed Marketplace over time. Encouraging the growth of broadband is critical to the MSN business strategy because broadband usage introduces many compelling scenarios for consumers, which MSN Internet Software services can greatly enhance.

The MSN High-Speed Marketplace builds on the online network’s growing array of offerings designed to meet the needs of broadband Internet users. Already, MSN offers consumers superior content that is enhanced with high-speed broadband connections. This content includes movie clips, music downloads and videos, news and information on MSN Entertainment; interviews, game recaps and highlights, and sports-related information from ESPN; and frequent video news updates from MSNBC.

“MSN High-Speed Marketplace is just our latest in a growing array of offerings designed to provide a great broadband experience on the Web,”
Bray said.
“We’ll continue to offer innovative services and offerings designed to help consumers get the most from their high-speed connection.”

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 350 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. MSN 8 is the first Internet software product to have earned the trusted Good Housekeeping Seal. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at . MSN worldwide sites are located at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* Nielsen NetRatings, June, 2003.

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft®
Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

Related Posts