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GTE Internetworking Gets Corporate Makeover

GTE Corp. Thursday renamed its Internet backbone business division from GTE Internetworking to Genuity, Inc.

The corporate moniker change is the result of GTE's (GTE) desire for the Federal Communication Commission to approve its $53 billion merger with Bell Atlantic Corp. and to take the company public.

The companies must castoff GTE's Internet operations because federal law prohibits incumbent carriers like Bell Atlantic (BEL) from offering long-distance voice or data services within its home region.

The companies intend to offer 90 percent of the Internet business to the public. The move could raise an estimated $2.5 billion for Genuity's coffers, which would be used to expand the capacity of its high-speed network by 10-fold and build new data centers worldwide.

The companies would retain the right to buy up to 80 percent of the unit for five years, if the FCC grants Bell Atlantic the permission to do so. GTE declined to comment on the status of the merger negotiations with the FCC.

Genuity is strategically designed to position itself as a premier provider of Internet infrastructure and e-business solutions. It intends to live up to its new name that is derived from the word ingenuity, which by definition means ingenious, original, resourceful and inventive.

Genuity and its new logo also reflect the company's roots at BBN, which developed the original Internet network. GTE leveraged the name from Genuity Corp., a Silicon Valley Web hosting business that GTE Internetworking acquired in 1997.

Paul R. Gudonis, Genuity chief executive officer, said the new corporate identity allows Genuity to grow the company and distinguish itself as a major player in the marketplace.

"We're re-branding a company that is already a leader in the industry, with thousands of enterprise and service provider customers who are looking to us for the innovative services that enable their e-business initiatives," Gudonis said.

Gudonis is very confident that the name Genuity captures what the firm is doing for its customers today and where it's going tomorrow.

"We researched and considered a number of possibilities for the new name and Genuity was selected because we felt it captures the ingenious, creative spirit and new focus of our organization and provides us with a name that will sustain us well into the future," Gudonis said.

Genuity, much like its predecessor, will continue to provide a suite of managed Internet infrastructure services including the management of its Tier One backbone, secure access, managed secure hosting and around-the-clock technical support services.

James L. Freeze, Genuity senior vice president and chief strategy officer, said technology is not enough to produce success by providing e-commerce business solutions.

"It's not about just having great technology, fiber miles, modems or individual services," Freeze said. "It's about understanding your customers' business and architecting infrastructure solutions that advance their time-to-market."

"Only a company with a fully operational, next generation network, Tier One Internet backbone and a comprehensive set of e-business services can deliver on this vision," Freeze added. "Genuity is that company."

Genuity currently provides Internet-related services to 5,000 major businesses worldwide. GTE Internetworking posted revenues of $301 million in the final quarter of 1999, up 82 percent from the same period of 1998. According to its annual report, the Internet firm had sales totaling $1 billion for the entire year, u