Bluelight Special On E-mail

by Jim Wagner

Looking more and more like a conventional ISP every day, K Mart's Internet division is reaping the benefit of its parent company's marketing arm and finances.

Calling all Bluelight.com shoppers, as of Tuesday you now have 10 MB of e-mail space in your inbox and email access from your computer, thanks to a contract announced Tuesday with Synacor, Inc.

The enhanced e-mail offering is just one of several value-added services the San Francisco-based Bluelight.com is launching in the coming weeks to entice disgruntled Yahoo! customers forced to pay for e-mail services.

Heidi Gibson, BlueLight.com Internet service general manager, said the service is the direct result of customer feedback.

"Synacor's flexible solutions and provisioning platform enable us to offer a range of additional services to our customers, she said. "We quickly responded to customer feedback and requests by delivering additional storage and POP e-mail while others in the industry were cutting these back."

The new service gives subscribers more flexibility in reading e-mails, whether at home or on the road. Before Tuesday's announcement, the only way to read @bluelight.com emails was to visit the Web site and log into the Web service. Now users can set their Outlook Express or Eudora clients to download BlueLight.com emails, or access e-mail from other domain addresses at the Web mail sites. Previously, the ISP offered 5 MB of Web storage.

As Bluelight.com adds more and more value-added services to its plate, the once-free Internet service provider is looking more and more like a conventional ISP. Last year, after it was announced K Mart would bring its online venture closer to hand, the ISP significantly boosted its coverage footprint, giving it twice as many dial up POP servers at its command than AOL, the largest ISP in the world.

And while Bluelight.com's parent company might be going through a messy Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding, the ISP has been the lucky recipient of a marketing and merchandising machine as part of its integration with K Mart, a process that took much of last year and into 2002.

"(The integration) continues to go very well," said Abagail Jacobs, a Bluelight.com spokesperson. "The more we integrate with K Mart, the more we can use their marketing venues like putting setup CDs in the store and ads in the flyers."

According to Jacobs, the ISP now has approximately 200,000 customers paying $8.95 a month for their Internet access service.

  This article was originally published on Thursday May 2nd 2002
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