Called WorldNet Managed Internet Service, the expanded offering appears to be part of AT&T's broader strategy to tap the booming Internet market. AT&T's stock price gained 1/8 of a point today to close at 51-5/8, after dropping nearly ten percent Tuesday after the company predicted poor earnings.
The business-oriented service shares the WorldNet brand name with AT&T's WorldNet Service, a dial-up Internet access service aimed primarily at consumers. Since its launch in February, AT&T has signed up over 400,000 subscribers to the service, which the company plans to extend to other countries in 1997.
The managed Internet service for corporate customers is now available in Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia and will soon go into trial in the United Kingdom, AT&T said today.
As in the United States, the business service lets customers access, plan, operate, manage, and maintain leased-line connections to the Internet with technical support and active monitoring from AT&T. Service options include on-site equipment, primary Domain Name Services, network news feeds, packet filtering, and usage reports.
"AT&T is committed to providing high-quality, reliable Internet access wherever our customers need it, and that need clearly extends to markets beyond the United States," Tom Evslin, vice president of AT&T WorldNet Service said.
In Asia, access speeds over AT&T's network will range from 64 kbps to 1.5 mbps, depending on the country.
In the United Kingdom, the managed Internet service goes into trial for large multinational firms next month, with general availability expected in the first quarter of 1997 at speeds from 64 kbps to 2.048 mbps.
Plans for extending the dedicated Internet access service to other European countries will be announced in the next several weeks, AT&T said.
AT&T also is working with Sun Microsystems on a system called Geoplex, a Sun official confirmed. Geoplex, a transactional service for Internet carriers to enable electronic commerce, will be sold to other carriers. AT&T declined to comment on the unannounced service.