Lotus to Take QuickPlace to Broadband

Lotus Development Corp. will release an application development toolkit for its QuickPlace Web-based teamware application to enable third-party developers to take advantage of high-speed broadband networks, the company said here yesterday.

Lotus made the announcement when signing an agreement with Singapore's National Computer Board (NCB) to offer QuickPlace on the SingaporeONE nationwide broadband network. The U.S. software vendor will develop a version of QuickPlace on Domino Instant Host software which will be hosted on SingaporeONE.

According to Lotus, QuickPlace allows a non-technical team leader to create, customize and control access to a virtual workspace using a Web browser or Lotus Notes client. Once admitted to the workspace, team members will be able to share rich text and graphics, project files, e-mail and calendars, the company said.

The ability to use QuickPlace over SingaporeONE adds a business application to what has previously been regarded as a medium for delivering educational and entertainment applications, and marks a new phase for the broadband project, according to NCB Chief Executive Michael Yap.

"We are moving into a growth phase to take SingaporeONE into the mainstream," Yap said. "We need to achieve a critical mass of users in the next 18 months, where industry rather than government will be the main driver."

Zacchaeus Boon, Lotus Singapore general manager, said that the capabilities of QuickPlace for collaborating and delivering projects rapidly fitted well with the Singapore government's drive to create a knowledge economy.

Market response to broadband services has been slower than expected in Singapore, analysts say. Of the country's 400,000 Internet subscribers, only about 13,000 have signed up with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.'s (SingTel's) Magix broadband service, which provides high-speed Internet access, videoconferencing and delivery of real-time multimedia content.

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