Starpower Communications and Lycos Inc. yesterday announced an alliance to develop high-speed content for Starpower's Internet service, as well as a co-branded personalized version of Lycos's personal portal.

Starpower, a joint venture of Pepco Communications, a wholly owned affiliate of Potomac Electric Power Co. and the Princeton, N.J.-based telecom company RCN Corp., provides Internet, phone and cable service over fiber-optic lines in the Washington-Baltimore corridor.

"An alliance between Lycos and Starpower is a natural extension of our ability to offer a high-speed Internet product and Lycos's expertise in content development and deployment," said John D. McCallum, Starpower co-chairman and president of Pepco Communications.

Lycos operates Web sites such as Lycos.com, MailCity, HotBot, Angelfire and Wired News, among others. The company gets most of its revenue from advertising and the remainder from e-commerce agreements and licensing agreements.

Lycos's broad-band efforts, code-named "Lycos Lightning," test and deploy services that exploit the power of high-speed Internet access. Lycos plans to roll out Lycos Lightning products over the next several months; they will be integrated into existing Lycos portal services. "Lycos Lightning is our platform for multimedia information and entertainment services made possible by a high-speed connection," said Bob Davis, president and chief executive of Lycos.

In addition to the high-speed content project, Starpower's 500,000 dial-up customers will have access to a co-branded version of "My Lycos," providing users with not only personalized news, weather and stock quotes but also the ability to read e-mail, update their home pages, search or shop.