AT&T Corp, has upgraded the business side of its WorldNet internet service, with new offerings for small and medium-sized companies, to bring it into line with its competitors and attempt to become the top business internet service in the world. AT&T has been lagging behind other business-oriented internet service providers, finally offering backbone services to users back in October (CI No 3,266), years after its competitors. Things weren’t helped by the recent acquisition of AT&T’s partner BBN Corp by its competitor GTE Corp, which left AT&T having to develop its own business services. Yesterday, AT&T launched a set of new WorldNet services, including improved billing, electronic commerce, domain name registration, and international dial-up roaming in over 100 countries, along with a web site consultancy services. AT&T is to become a Verisign Inc digital signature authority, and add other special e-commerce features for electronic merchants, including digital coupons and variable pricing on electronic sales, all incorporated into its secure transaction hosting service. The business dial up offering, which is completely new, gives small business a registered domain name for $29.95 a month, and five electronic mail addresses, and gives them access to new web site design and consultancy services. The world dial-up roaming is being launched now, and will be provided by AT&T in conjunction with other ISPs in countries Worldnet doesn’t cover. And in a move to try and simplify AT&T’s communications offerings, the WorldNet internet services and AT&T’s long distance and cellular phone services can now be sent to consumers and business customers on a single bill.
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