PI adds to regional presence in Australia, India

Singapore-based ISP (Internet service provider) Pacific Internet has bought two small ISPs in Australia as part of its regional expansion plans, the company announced yesterday.

Pacific Internet (PI) has purchased Sydney-based ISP Zeta Internet and Brisbane-based Hub Communications for an undisclosed sum. This year, PI has bought four players in Australia's fragmented ISP market and has a subscriber base there of 24,000, the company said.

PI, which is listed on the Nasdaq, expects to announce further ISP deals early next year, the company said in a statement.

PI also announced yesterday its intentions of rolling out Internet dial-up and corporate access services to as many as 25 major cities in India by the end of 2000. PI already offers Internet access in Mumbai and will roll out services in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Calcutta in the coming months, the company said last week.

PI, the second-largest ISP in Singapore with 267,000 subscribers, owns ISPs in Hong Kong and the Philippines and plans to open a US office early next year.

It is also looking with renewed interest at the mainland China market following the recent trade agreement under which China is expected to join the World Trade Organisation, PI's chief executive officer, Nicholas Lee, has said.

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