BT, MCI plan new backbone to boost global Internet capacity

British Telecom and MCI jointly plan to build a high-speed backbone network that could increase overall Internet capacity by as much as 30%.

Concert, the global telecommunications carrier jointly run by UK-based British Telecom and US-based MCI, plans to build a high-speed backbone network that it says could increase overall Internet capacity by as much as 30%, the company has announced.

Called InternetPlus, the service will be rolled out over the next several months and will offer corporations guaranteed service performance. "This will enable business to use the Internet as their private global network for groupware, email, messaging, and electronic commerce," says a BT spokesman.

"This has been on the cards for some time," says Eric Owen, senior research analyst for market researcher International Data, based in London. "In terms of global Internet provision, this deal gives Concert a bit of a head start on some of the other super carriers."

Nippon Telegraph Data (NTT-Data) will market Concert in Asia and the Pacific region, filling a regional gap in the Concert portfolio following BT's failed attempt to merge with Cable and Wireless, a company with substantial interests in Hong Kong Telecom.

Concert InternetPlus will be connected to BT's and MCI's current networks through eight new regional superhubs in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, the UK and the United States, and it will provide value-added services from more than 1200 locations in 70 countries around the world.

Concert will offer a range of new services, including:

--InternetPlus Transport, which will give independent access providers the ability to connect at speeds up to 45Mbit/s.

--InternetPlus Intranet Service, which allows businesses to establish global intranets for email, voice mail, fax, and document sharing.

--InternetPlus Access, which offers businesses a range of Internet Access options such as dial-up and roaming capabilities through the Concert packet and frame relay service.

British Telecom, headquartered in London, can be contacted at http://www.bt.co.uk. MCI, based in Washington, is at http://www.mci.com/.

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