GTE, Others Play the Name Game

LOS ANGELES (04/10/2000) - GTE Internetworking announced at Internet World 2000 last week it is changing its name to Genuity.

This development keeps the ISP in step with its parent company, GTE Corp., which also announced that once its pending merger with Bell Atlantic Corp. is final, the joint company will be called Verizon.

And to complete the name-game circle, Bell Atlantic Mobile and Vodafone AirTouch said last week they will call their joint wireless entity Verizon Wireless.

GTE Internetworking, now Genuity, is changing its name as it prepares to become an independent company. In February, GTE and Bell Atlantic told the Federal Communications Commission they were willing to spin off GTE's ISP in order to see GTE and Bell Atlantic's merger through.

It is not known if the FCC will take them up on the offer, but the ISP is moving ahead with its plans. Paul Gudonis, president of Genuity, says the change is not dependent on the FCC's decision but is instead prompted by market shifts.

"The name change is part of an evolving strategy to take advantage of the next Internet revolution," Gudonis says. The company likes the fact that the name Genuity is a derivative of ingenuity, he says. He added some at the ISP wanted to go back to the ISP's roots and rename GTE Internetworking BBN Planet. Those folks lost out. GTE acquired BBN Planet in May 1997 and renamed the ISP GTE Internetworking four months later.

But the name Genuity is not new either. In November 1997, GTE Internetworking acquired the San Francisco Web-hosting company Genuity. By choosing a name the ISP already owned and hasn't used since the acquisition, they were able to avoid the exhaustive trademark and URL searches typically done when naming or renaming a company.

At the press conference, Gudonis also said Genuity signed a deal with Akamai to deploy Akamai's FreeFlow content-distribution servers throughout its network.

Genuity will offer FreeFlow services in addition to its current content-distribution services, which are based on Inktomi servers and Genuity's Hopscotch load-balancing technology.

In other Internet World news:

Akamai introduced its Traffic Analyzer and Reporter tools that offer FreeFlow content-distribution customers real-time and historical information on Web site performance.

Sprint announced it is offering Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server and SiteServer Commerce Edition Web hosting services to business customers. Win 2000 Advanced Server includes Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, which is used for advanced cataloging and database storage.oWeb-hosting service provider NaviSite announced Puma Technology is using NaviSite's managed server hosting services to support Puma's mobile Internet service offerings.

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More about Akamai TechnologiesFCCFederal Communications CommissionGenuityGTEGTE InternetworkingInktomiMicrosoftNaviSitePuma TechnologySprintVerizonVerizon WirelessVodafone

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