Optus details Internet offering

Cable & Wireless Optus yesterday shed some light on its plans to attack the Internet market space, but missing from the equation was a package for large organisations and a cable Internet service.

The company announced it is expanding its Internet packages for consumer and small business. Optus launched the services to existing customers last November following the acquisition of Internet service provider (ISP) Microplex in July 1998.

The company's plans for the corporate space, however, are still in the works with an announcement expected in around eight to 10 weeks, Chris Weston, director of multimedia, told Computerworld.

Weston said Optus already offers access products including 56Kbit/sec dial-up and 155Mbit/sec ATM services as well as virtual private networks to corporates.

The yet-to-be-announced corporate Internet service will address particular needs, including management, reporting and service level agreements, Weston said.

As for the plans to offer a cable Internet service to compete against Telstra's Big Pond, Weston said Optus intends to launch a cable modem service and interactive TV service later this year. Currently, Optus Internet runs over Optus' upgraded 56Kbit/sec network.

The company did, however, announce a number of new partners as well as a pricing structure to accompany the packages offered under the Optus Internet banner.

These include Solution 6, Travel Industry Automated Systems, Unidial, Apple, Compaq, Net Nanny and MYOB.

Despite ramping up its retail Internet services, Weston said Optus "will continue to provide wholesale services (Optus Spinnaker) to other carriers".

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