Compaq, MS Join Pan-European Net Hosting Venture

STOCKHOLM (03/23/2000) - FirstMark Communications Europe SA unveiled today a strategic agreement with Compaq Computer Corp. and Microsoft Corp. to jointly develop broadband Internet application hosting centers across Europe.

FirstMark, together with its two partners, aim to develop a series of centers across Europe to deliver business-to-business Internet services and applications to small and medium-sized businesses, FirstMark said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, FirstMark will use Compaq's NonStop data center servers and Microsoft's Windows DNA 2000 to develop an integrated hosting system for the centers, the company said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In addition, FirstMark said it will also work with hosted online services providers to bundle theirofferings with its own portfolio of broadband Internet services, which then can be jointly marketed through its own, as well as Compaq's and Microsoft's, sales channels.

As part of today's agreement, FirstMark plans to connect its pan-European broadband Internet network to the new ASP (Application Service Provider) Competence Center, located at Compaq's European Technology Center in Sophia Antipolis, France. [See "Cisco, Compaq, MS to Launch Euro ASP Center," March 8.]FirstMark also expects to open the first gateway to its broadband Internet network in Germany in the third quarter, with further gateways to be deployed in France, Spain, the U.K. and other major European markets over the next 12 months, the company said.

FirstMark Communications Europe, in London, can be reached at +44-20-7529-5000, or via the Web at http://www.firstmark.net/. Compaq Computer, in Houston, is at http://www.compaq.com/. Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, is at http://www.microsoft.com/.

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