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PRODIGY INTRODUCES NEW PRICING PLANS; ELIMINATES SURCHARGE FOR HIGH SPEED SERVICE AND COMBINES FLAT RATE WITH SOME TIMED CHARGES

 WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Prodigy service, the online computer network with more than two million members, said today that it will introduce two new flexible pricing plans, enhance its content, and offer high-speed service in most of its features at no extra charge. The pricing plans, which will replace Prodigy's current fee structure, include a combination of flat-fee and hourly pricing options.
 Prodigy said that, starting in July, it will begin charging for some connect time to newly designated "Plus" features -- most bulletin boards, airline schedules and certain financial information. The charges are expected to affect fewer than one in five Prodigy households. All other features (the "Core") are still available at a flat rate.
 Prodigy will continue to offer its popular $14.95-a-month subscription fee that allows flat-rate use of several hundred features, including news, education and reference features, games, sports, shopping, an online encyclopedia and 30 private e-mail messages. Two hours of timed features are included in the monthly subscription fee. After the first two hours of Plus features, connect-time rates will decrease with usage. Charges will range from $4.80 down to $3.60 an hour.
 A second pricing option, at $7.95-a-month, will provide two hours use of Core and Plus features combined, after which timed charges begin. At the lower price, no private messages are included, but may be sent for 25 cents each.
 In a move that is unique among major online services, Prodigy also eliminated its extra charge for 9600-bps service in nearly all features, so more members can use the Prodigy service at the higher modem speed.
 There are no timed charges to view commercial advertising, use messaging, the PC Financial Network, online banks and BillPay USA, or for informational features about the Prodigy service.
 Two children's features -- Sesame Street(SM) and the Baby-sitters Club(R) -- that had been separately priced will become part of the Core content. New efficiency enhancements will be provided to Prodigy members so that they can minimize their online time. The pricing changes will not affect most existing term memberships until they come up for renewal.
 "This new price structure helps us balance the costs associated with operating our network so we can maintain and improve the Prodigy Service," said Prodigy President Ross Glatzer. "While memberships grew a healthy 40 percent in the last year, usage of features that require us to pay for a long-distance connection to our central computers grew much faster. As an example, bulletin board postings increased by more than 500 percent.
 "Prodigy was the first to offer a national online service with flat- rate, predictable pricing," said Glatzer. "We felt it was important to retain a flat-fee option for the vast majority of Prodigy service features. That's why we've structured the introduction of Plus features so that four of every five Prodigy households should not be affected," he added. "We believe that the new plans will enable Prodigy to maintain its place as the clear value leader in the online world."
 -0- 4/16/93
 /CONTACT: Prodigy Services Company corporate communications, 914-993-8843/


CO: Prodigy Services Company ST: New York IN: CPR SU:

TS-LR -- NY057 -- 6880 04/16/93 15:27 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 16, 1993
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