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AT&T rolls out business features

Recovering from a service-wide email glitch, the company's WorldNet Internet service provider launches updated features for its business customers.

    Although it is still reeling from a serious email glitch that plagued its service yesterday, AT&T WorldNet rolled out new features for its business services today.

    At a press conference at Internet World in New York City, WorldNet executives launched AT&T WorldNet Business Dial, corporate customers' domain email addresses, increased online transaction security, additional billing options, and an international roaming feature that allows business travelers to log on to their Internet businesses from more than 100 countries.

    The package includes a 10 MB POP3 email account and access to restricted business content including personalized news, financial information, and weather. The service also will provide links to business-specific directories, resources, and newsgroups, the company said.

    AT&T also has decided to become a certificate authority issuing VeriSign certificates. This will allow WorldNet to offer customers security for their Internet, extranet, and intranet applications, the company said.

    Businesses can buy the service for $24.95 per month. The WorldNet consumer package will remain at $19.95, the company said.

    "We're providing business-grade Internet services to meet the needs of the business market," said Kathleen Earley, vice president of AT&T's networked commerce services. "Our target is the multinationals, or the top part of the middle market."

    On the e-commerce end, Earley said WorldNet has developed "digital couponing" for its SecureBuy service, which will allow merchants to provide discounts to preferred markets and individual customers, allowing them to, among other things, keep track of their regular customers and reward them for returning to their Web sites.

    In addition, AT&T will provide its e-commerce suite customers with Site Launch, a prepackaged Web site design and consulting service provided by Web designers who participate in the AT&T Creative Alliance Program, ranging in price from $500 to $15,000.