Yahoo to offer premium services without Net access

Internet mammoth Yahoo will soon be offering premium services to customers who provide their own Internet access, in a move aimed at expanding its reach to a broader audience of Net users.

The bring-your-own-access plan was announced Wednesday by Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Terry Semel, during the company's annual analyst day, and is due to be rolled out in the first half this year, a company spokesman said.

The Sunnyvale, California company has been focusing on pushing its premium services in recent months, rolling out new subscription e-mail, music, and personals offerings, among others. The plan to target users who already have Internet access through other providers comes as yet another step in its effort to grow its premium subscription base.

Other Internet players, such as America Online Inc., have also introduced bring-your-own-access plans for their content and services.

Yahoo is also partnering with Net access providers, however. Earlier Wednesday, the company announced that it was teaming with leading U.K. Internet provider BT Broadband to offer bundled premium services to high-speed customers in a deal similar to one that the company has with SBC Communications Inc. in the U.S.

Shares of Yahoo (YHOO) traded down .66 percent to US$18.17 Wednesday afternoon.

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