Briefs

FRAMINGHAM (06/26/2000) - UUNET Technologies Inc. last week replaced President and CEO Mark Spagnolo with Bob Hartnett, president of global accounts at UUNET parent company WorldCom Inc. Hartnett will retain both titles going forward.

Spagnolo will be working on "new projects" with MCI WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers, a UUNET spokesman said. No additional details were provided regarding Spagnolo's new position or why WorldCom decided to make a change at this time.

Hartnett joined WorldCom when it acquired MCI in 1998.

IBM Corp. last week upgraded its enterprise information portal (EIP) offering by expanding access to more data sources. Version 7 of the IBM EIP includes an upgraded application programming interface that can interact with C++, ActiveX and Lotus Script code, in addition to the previously supported Java and Java Beans. IBM has added transcoding that allows devices such as cell phones and Palm Pilots to access the portal. EIP can also display virtually any document type in the browser window. IBM is putting $100 million behind the product to enter what Summit Strategies estimates is a US$14 billion market for portals.

IBM EIP 7 will be available in August.

Microsoft Corp., Compaq Computer Corp. and Intel Corp. have invested $45 million in content delivery network provider Digital Island, which will use the money to build a network capable of handling 7.5 million simultaneous streams.

Digital Island has points of presence in 25 countries that are used to get high-bandwidth content closer to the edge of the network. The enhanced network will be powered by Compaq servers running Windows 2000. In addition to its initial investment, Compaq Financial Services will provide a $50 million equipment lease. Digital Island's biggest competitor, Akamai, recently signed a deal with Cidera that will let the company offer a satellite-based streaming media option.

The National Exchange Carrier Association last week released a survey showing it would cost nearly $11 billion to upgrade rural telephone lines to broadband DSL capability. The results of the survey of NECA member companies were released at a news conference at which officials also said a search had begun for funding to help companies serving rural areas pay for the upgrade. The 244 companies that participated in the survey serve sparsely populated regions of the U.S., from the bayous of Louisiana to the mountains of Alaska, said Victor Glass, NECA's director of demand forecasting and rate development. Typically, there are about five households per square mile in the companies' coverage area. That figure compares with the typical 50 households per square mile in the coverage area of carriers that serve urban areas. The $11 billion would cover 3.3 million lines, which is equivalent to an average cost of about $3,300 per line. However, Glass says the estimate is deceptive because the more remote a customer is, the higher the price to upgrade the line.

IBM Global Services, Ariba Inc. and I2 Technologies Inc. will provide the technology behind Omnexus, a planned business-to-business marketplace for the plastics injection molding industry announced by BASF AG, Bayer AG, Dow Chemical, DuPont and Ticona/Celanese AG. The three technology vendors will also provide ongoing service and support after the exchange gets started later this year, according to Omnexus.

Shoe manufacturer Nike last Wednesday found its e-commerce site nike.com hijacked by Web "hacktivists" espousing a political protest message against the upcoming Asia Pacific World Economic Forum. The nike.com URL was redirected to the URL of an Australian activist group, which denied responsibility for the domain-name hijacking. Nike restored its nike. com Web site to normal operation the next day, but it didn't respond to inquiries to explain the incident.

Commerce One last week signed an agreement to purchase AppNet of Bethesda, Maryland, a systems integrator specializing in business-to-business e-commerce sites, for approximately $1.4 billion. AppNet Chairman and CEO Ken Bajaj said the acquisition would not affect current AppNet projects. Commerce One's chairman and CEO Mark Hoffman said his firm needs to add business-to-business systems integrators to keep up with service demand to build the 100 or so trading exchanges based on Commerce One software products.

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