AT&T Reveals Net Content Strategy

SAN MATEO (07/10/2000) - Building on its ASP (application service provider) initiative launched earlier this year, AT&T Corp. on Monday announced a new alliance with Inktomi Corp. and to provide companies a mega-infrastructure for corporate Internet content applications.

Dubbed 'Ecosystem for Media' the effort wraps in offers Web site acceleration, streaming media, distance learning and other bandwidth-intensive applications becoming more and more crucial to e-commerce.

AT&T in January first made a much ballyhooed entrance into the burgeoning ASP space by lining up a load of partners and pumping its networking assets into the race to provide ASP platform support.

Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based AT&T then first employed the term "ecosystem" to define a bundle of network services punched up with applications lent by key players such as IBM Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

Now AT&T aims to add the content portion of its plan. Like part one of the ASP play, the content play involves services to be cranked through AT&T's 44 planned Internet Data Centers and makes use of OC-48/OC-192 IP backbone networks.

AT&T and a host of new partners signaled that it is going after corporations that want to pump up the performance of their Web properties.

By partnering with Foster City, California-based Inktomi, a company coming on strong in the content distribution space, AT&T's Intelligent Content Distribution Services will include scaled video on demand and webcasting capabilities.

AT&T claims that its streaming media infrastructure over the next couple of years will scale up to 10 million simultaneous users.

AT&T also said it plans to use Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media and RealNetwork's RealSystem 8 as its prescribed formats.

For corporate enterprises looking to pipe large media files over private corporate nets, AT&T has unveiled its ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) multicast capabilities.

The far-reaching content ecosystem effort also provides comprehensive methods enterprise users can employ to manage their digital media.

Other companies included in AT&T's content lineup include Alteon WebSystems, Dell Computer Corp., Eastman Kodak, Novell Inc. and VideoSnap.

Jennifer Jones is an InfoWorld senior editor.

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