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Channel.com Briefs: Worldcom & Intermedia, Access 1

Channel.com Briefs: Worldcom & Intermedia, Access 1

Worldcom snaps up Intermedia

Worldcom has announced its acquisition of Intermedia Communications in an attempt to gain a stronger foothold in the Web-hosting space.

The deal involves a $US3 billion purchase of equity and a $3 billion covering of Intermedia's debts, but more importantly for the carrier, it will gain a controlling interest in Digix, a Web-hosting company that has been for sale since July. The Intermedia merger gives Worldcom a 55 per cent equity share and a 94 per cent voting interest in Digix.

Worldcom president and CEO Bernard Ebbers considers the deal an important step toward making his company a leader in Web and application-hosting services, an area he considers "one of the highest growth markets in the industry".

The deal is yet to be approved by both boards of directors, shareholders or US Federal regulators. Antitrust regulators denied Worldcom's attempt to acquire Sprint in a similar deal earlier this year.

ASP host expands

Local Web hosting specialist Webcom has doubled the size of its facilities and branched out into a variety of new services to cope with increasing demand for the dedicated hosting of high-volume Web sites.

Webcom's Sydney data centre has attracted blue-chip clients such as Ticketek, Qantas, Commonwealth Bank and AMP.

The reason for the growth, according to acting technical director David Britt, is increasing confidence in the value of ASP arrangements and the security of Webcom's redundancy standards. The North Sydney data centre is mirrored by a site in Melbourne with an automatic fault cut-over for disaster recovery and prevention.

"We offer service-level agreements with penalties involved if those levels are not met," said Britt. "These are tailored for each customer, with frequent reviews ensuring that the site is performing to the standards agreed on."

Access1 set to graduate

Access1 has announced an agreement with the University of Wollongong to deliver its broadband service to the 10,000 potential users in the University network.

The content distribution and development agreement involves the creation and delivery of course work in several areas of study, with the regional University being able to offer distance education services to remote locations.

The University will also incorporate AccessTV's news and entertainment content into its network, allowing students to view such multimedia content as Olympics coverage and music videos via their university PC.


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