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February 18, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:04pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp’s chief executive Bill Gates has praised the Spanish state-owned Telco Telefonica de Espana for its Internet services. Gates, speaking at an Internet conference in Madrid last week, praised Telefonica for its low-cost Internet access service, which he said Microsoft will help develop for sale in other countries. Microsoft supplied server software for the service, called Infovia, and is working with the carrier on its technological development. Gates said the project formed a model partnership of how we want to work with telephone companies. Telefonica does not offer Internet access direct to consumers, but sells through Internet service providers, and so has stayed out of the price war that has developed between the 400 small service providers fighting for Spain’s still-tiny Internet market. The success of the Telefonica scheme showed there is plenty of commercial incentive [for carriers] to add more capacity, to deal with worldwide increases in Internet traffic, said Gates. Telefonica has already announced plans to market the service in Chile, Peru, Argentina and most recently Holland, working with the Dutch carrier KPN – all of which gives Microsoft a strong commercial incentive to make Infovia a success. Launched one year ago, Infovia has around 280,000 users. It has proved most successful as a low-cost gateway for Spain’s Internet service providers; they do not have to install their own modems and local access network.

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