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CompuServe plays host for Web sites

One day after start-up USWeb pledged to span the country with franchised Web service bureaus, CompuServe is mounting its own strategy to offer Web hosting services.

One day after start-up USWeb pledged to span the country with franchised Web service bureaus, CompuServe is mounting its own strategy to offer Web hosting services.

CompuServe's WebMaster service, announced today at the CeBIT trade exposition in Hannover, Germany, will provide companies with managed hosting of Web sites on servers used by the number-two online service. Two WebMaster options will be available: WebMaster-10, which includes 10 hours of server management per business day, and WebMaster-24, for 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week server management.

To guarantee that server performance will match demand, CompuServe will ask its customers to estimate the amount of traffic to expect on their Web sites. The company has not yet specified pricing or availability for the WebMaster service.

The CompuServe plan is less ambitious than that of USWeb, which intends to create a nationwide network of independently owned one-stop Web shops, complete with hosting, training, and design services.