1stUp.com Signs-up 800,000 Canadian Subscribers for Free Internet Access; Loblaw Agreement Extends 1stUp.com's Canadian Presence.
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 29, 2000
1stUp.com, a leading provider of private label Internet access solutions and a majority-owned operating company of CMGI, Inc. (NASDAQ:CMGI), today announced it has registered more than 800,000 Canadian users, making it the largest Internet service provider in Canada. The company also announced an agreement with Loblaw Companies Limited, Canada's largest grocery retailer, to offer free Internet access to its customer base through President's Choice Financial(TM) banking pavilions. The free Internet service is also available to anyone at www.pcfreesurf.com(TM).
1stUp.com's private label offering has become one of the fastest growing Internet access offerings in the market, and has already garnered more than 4 million subscribers in less than a year. Canadians can now enjoy the largest dial-up network in Canada with access to free Internet service from ten provinces and more than 90% of Canadian area codes. Building upon its success in providing partner-branded free Internet access services to more than 130 companies in the U.S. market, 1stUp.com is creating a similar impact in Canada by offering the service to leading Canadian consumer brands like President's Choice(TM).
"We are responding to the needs of Canadian consumers with a complete Internet package, with unlimited access through a highly reliable connection, at the right price--free," said Charles Katz, president and CEO of 1stUp.com. "Leveraging the strong brand names and distribution channels of our distribution partners like President's Choice(TM), we have found an effective business model to deliver reliable, free Internet connections to millions of consumers."
1stUp.com enables leading consumer-oriented companies to brand and distribute the 1stUp.com free Internet service. 1stUp.com's technology enables consumers to receive unlimited, free Internet access with 24/7 customer support in exchange for keeping a compact, sponsor-oriented navigation bar on their computer screen. Users download a small application that grants them access to 1stUp.com's dial-up network and enter the Internet through the partner's home page.
"We think free Internet access is a perfect match to President's Choice Financial(TM) services", said Geoff Wilson, spokesperson for Loblaw, "It's consistent with the President's Choice Financial(TM) brand philosophy of empowering Canadians to allow them to save time and money. www.pcfreesurf.com(TM) will provide Canadians who do not already have access to the internet with the opportunity to take advantage of time-saving internet services such as President's Choice Financial(TM) free Internet banking."
1stUp.com allows companies to offer a value-added service to their customers while establishing a constant online connection with those customers. The 1stUp.com technology enables its distribution partners to retain a constant logo and link on the 1stUp.com navigation bar, keeping their online offerings just a click away from consumers during every web surfing session.
About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's largest food distributor with operations across the country. Loblaw has grown from four original stores in 1921 to nearly 1,000 stores and more than 108,000 employees across Canada. Selling more groceries than any other company in Canada, Loblaw is home to one of the most recognizable private label brands in the world, President's Choice(TM).
Today, in-store pharmacies, restaurants, dry-cleaning, photo-finishing and financial services are just a few of the services that make Loblaw stores a true one-stop shopping experience to meet all customers' household needs.
About President's Choice Financial(TM) services
Since the launch in February 1998, President's Choice Financial(TM) services have grown at a rapid pace, offering Canadians unprecedented savings of time and money. President's Choice Financial(TM) services offer Canada's only no fee daily bank account, the Interest First(TM) savings account with a premium interest rate currently at 5 per cent, the unbeatable, eatable mortgage(TM) which combines better rates and free groceries, a low cost borrowing account, a daily interest investment account RRSP, a variety of loans, high interest GICs, plus PC(TM) points towards free groceries.
President's Choice Financial(TM) financial pavilions are located in Loblaw stores across Canada. President's Choice Financial(TM) services are provided by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
1stUp.com, a majority-owned operating company of CMGI, Inc., is a market leader in providing online and offline brand names with private label Internet access solutions and innovative advertising technology. 1stUp.com's patent-pending technology enables its distribution partners to brand, market and distribute free and cost-effective Internet services to their customers. Multiple leading ISP's support 1stUp.com's extensive ISP network to provide reliable connectivity. The 1stUp.com network is the largest in North America based on total dial-up numbers and delivers reliable Internet access to more than 95 percent of the United States and Canada. 1stUp.com powers Internet access solutions for leading brands like AltaVista, Excite@Home, Lycos, and more than 130 additional brands. By aggregating the more than 4 million registered subscribers of its distribution partners, 1stUp.com is able to pass along the benefits of optimal connectivity costs and advertising revenues to those distribution partners.
For more information, visit http://www.1stup.com. 1stUp.com Corporation is located at 575 Market St., Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105. Telephone: 415-293-4700.
1stUp and 1stUp.com are trademarks of 1stUp.com Corporation. PC(TM), President's Choice, President's Choice Financial, Interest First and the unbeatable, eatable mortgage are trademarks of Loblaws Inc.
This release contains forward-looking statements which address a variety of subjects including, for example, the expected benefits of the agreement between 1stUp and Loblaw Companies Limited and the expected capabilities of Loblaw Companies Limited to offer free Internet access and related services. The following important factors and uncertainties, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: 1stUp's products and technologies may not successfully interoperate with those of third parties; 1stUp's business model is dependent upon advertising and may be adversely affected by the adoption of new laws and regulations affecting the provision of Internet advertising services, including laws and regulations covering privacy, pricing and content; and increased competition and technological changes in the markets in which 1stUp competes. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to CMGI's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including CMGI's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.