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DirecTV Broadband Makes Customer Transition Deals

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Posted December 27, 2002 By Staff     Feedback

DirecTV Broadband, which is ending service next month, inks deals with SBC Yahoo!, BellSouth and Verizon so customers won't be left in the lurch.

DirecTV Broadband customers will not be left in the lurch when the high-speed Internet service is discontinued next month.

DirecTV Broadband's parent, Hughes Electronics , has inked deals allowing subscribers to shift to SBC Yahoo!, BellSouth and Verizon (depending on where they live) with limited interruptions to their service.

Ned Hayes, president and CEO of DirecTV Broadband, said the pacts mean customers "do not have to worry about searching for a new provider."

The agreement with SBC Yahoo! DSL, the co-branded service between telecom SBC Communications and Internet portal Yahoo! , includes promotions and discounts for customer who choose the service recommended by DirecTV DSL.

The option is open to 70,000 DirecTV Broadband subscribers in SBC Yahoo!'s coverage area, which consists of 13 western states.

Approximately 54,000 DirecTV Broadband customers are in BellSouth DSL's territory in the Southeast. Another 28,000 DirecTV Broadband customers are served by Verizon DSL in the Northeast.

In addition to providers sanctioned by DirecTV Broadband, several other providers have targeted customers who will lose their service.

Hughes acquired Cupertino, Calif.-based DirecTV Broadband in April 2001, and as recently as October was looking to jump-start the business with new features and an advertising campaign.

But despite adding subscribers, the customer base never reached the critical mass necessary to turn a profit. The company faced stiff competition from its DSL rivals, as well as companies offering alternative high-speed hookups, most notably, cable modems.

And after its merger with EchoStar collapsed, Hughes needed to quickly to stem the flow of red ink. Associated with the move, 200 workers were laid off from DirecTV Broadband last week, and another 200 will go when the wind down is complete.

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