AT&T, BT, Concert Make $2B E-Commerce Pledge

LONDON (04/05/2000) - AT&T Corp., British Telecommunications PLC and Concert Communications Co., the joint venture between the two, today announced that they over the next three years will invest US$2 billion to deliver electronic commerce services via a worldwide network of 44 Internet data centers.

The data centers, which will provide Internet services ranging from colocation and Web hosting to networking and application services, will be in 16 countries by the end of the three-year period, the companies said in a joint statement today.

The agreement is designed to build upon the companies' existing data center rollout plans, which include the 14 data centers currently operating in the U.S. and U.K., as well as Spain, Italy and Switzerland, the companies said.

This year, 11 more data centers will open in North America, Europe, and Japan, bringing the total to 25 centers. Next year, the project will spread even further, with a planned 19 centers opening in locations ranging from Sweden to Hong Kong.

Upon completion, the network will have Internet data centers in the U.S., the U.K., Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Japan.

Data centers have become big business recently. Last month, IBM Corp. and Qwest Communications International Inc. announced a three-year venture to build a total of 42 "CyberCenters" worldwide. [See "IBM, Qwest to Build E-Commerce Data Centers," March 27.]Earlier last month, Cable & Wireless PLC also announced a plan to build 20 Web-hosting centers in the U.K. and the U.S. by 2002. [See "C&W to Build $158M Web Hosting Center in U.K.," March 2.]NOTE TO EDITORS: The three companies will have a joint teleconference today at 9:30 a.m. EDT. The call in number is +1-800-475-6701 in the U.S., and +1-612-332-0107 for callers outside the U.S.

AT&T, in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, can be reached at +1-908-221-2000, or via the Web at http://www.att.com/. BT, in London, is at +44-207-356-5000, or at http://www.bt.com/. Concert is at http://www.concert.com/.

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