To Host or Not to Host: the Question for Carriers

VENICE, ITALY (03/21/2000) - Companies whose business is content should stay away from selling conduits -- while telecommunications companies should stick to shifting bits, according to George Gilder, president of Gilder Technology Group.

"Conduit and content: Those don't go together," Gilder said. "They must be separated. If you have world-leading content like Time Warner's, you want everyone to transmit it; you want the best networks to transmit it. You don't want to transmit it just on the networks you own."

There was disagreement, however, from others at the International Data Corp.

(IDC) European Telecoms Forum 2000 here today.

Telecom companies cannot survive on revenue from transport alone, said one.

"Fundamentally, if you just sell bandwidth, you are never going to make any money back," Camille Mendler of young telecom company I-Axis said.

Another carrier, KPNQwest, is investing heavily in Web hosting facilities. The company already operates 12 hosting centers of several hundred square meters each in Europe, and will construct six new centers each of 10,000 square meters by the end of the year, according to Rhett Williams, the company's executive vice president.

"For us, it's a logical outgrowth. Part of KPNQwest is the old EUNet (a pan-European business-to-business ISP). We are already hosting 20 percent of the pages that are out there," Williams said.

IDC's European Telecoms Forum 2000, in Venice, Italy, finishes today.

IDC is a subsidiary of International Data Group, the parent company of the IDG News Service.

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