Charter Pipeline/MSN team on portal
Watch for Charter.msn.com, a hybrid portal and start page coming from a recently closed deal between Charter Communications Inc. and MSN. The two also plan a charter.com e-mail service and a customized version of MSN's Explorer.
Charter.msn.com will be a co-branded start page that offers MSN's content and customized Charter content, too, says Charter spokesman Andy Morgan. The portal will look like MSN does now, he adds, but will also say Charter Pipeline — Charter's cable modem service — and have access to Charter information and Pipeline services. Ultimately, he says, it will link to the company's ITV service.
The browser will be "very graphic" with functionality that broadband brings, including video and audio streaming, he says.
The e-mail capability rounds off the plan. It's not an ISP thing, he says. "We're working with them and can use their content."
"The first step will be to notify customers that there is a charter.msn.com start page that they can use," Morgan says. Second, the company will send a CD with the customized browser to customers. After January, new customers will automatically get the browser, he adds.
Morgan says the deal doesn't affect Internet service prices.
"What we think it will do is give customers information and content that they couldn't get elsewhere," he says.