Menu Briefs: Powertel, Authentic8, ICANN Briefs: Powertel, Authentic8, ICANN

All power but no profits

Powertel has announced a $61.8 million loss for 2000, a year dominated by falling revenues and inflated operating costs.

The wholesale telecommunications supplier took in $35.5 million in sales, well down from the $49.2 million figure of 1999, and through increased marketing and recruitment, spent $45 million on operating costs.

The main impediment to Powertel's financial performance is the continual rollout of the Powertel network, which currently connects Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne through its 2417km of fibre optic cable, which also connects to Adelaide and Perth via leased lines.

The company secured around 150 large corporate and wholesale customers during the tail end of last year and is driving to return to profitability for 2001.

Authentic8 goes for $80M

Melbourne-based e-business security developer Authentic8 has been snapped up by US competitor ActivCard for $80 million.

Using ActivCard's global relationships and market presence, Authentic8's Internet Authentication Service (IAS) will now be marketed throughout the globe, remaining under "Authentic8" branding. This service authenticates the digital identities of employees, customers and partners when they access the company network from remote locations.

The acquisition will line the pockets of founding shareholders, as well as venture capitalists Allen & Buckeridge, Australian Innovation, Deutsche Bank and Mooroolbark Investments. Authentic8's Melbourne-based development team will remain on-board for product development projects.

ICANN in Melbourne

This week sees 400 of the most powerful people in the Internet industry gather at Melbourne Exhibition Centre to hold a meeting of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The first ICANN meeting for 2001, the Melbourne conference will see representatives from various sectors of the Internet economy discuss topics ranging from the recently awarded Top Level Domains to the challenges associated with intellectual property and government control of country codes.

The conference is being organised and hosted by the Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU) in conjunction with sponsors including the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE), Multimedia Victoria, Melbourne City Council, auDA (Australian Domain Administration), Melbourne IT, Telstra and law firm Maddock, Lonie and Chisholm.

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