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RealTime IT News

FirstMark, Microsoft, Compaq Sign Broadband Agreement

FirstMark Communications, Microsoft and Compaq announced Thursday an agreement to create a series of broadband Internet hosting centers throughout Europe.

FirstMark, which is active in twelve major European countries including Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the U.K., says it is working with the other companies to develop a blueprint for the centers. These "Solution Hotels" will be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and will host e-commerce and other solutions from top online application providers.

The new centers will use Compaq's NonStop data center server technology and Microsoft's Windows DNA 2000 development to create the hosting infrastructure.

FirstMark says it intends to work closely with both local European and U.S. providers of online services and applications, offering them a new gateway to the European marketplace.

John Leftwich, vice president, sales and marketing, Microsoft EMEA, said the combination of Microsoft's Windows DNA 2000 platform running on Compaq servers and FirstMark's pervasive broadband infrastructure would create a powerful platform for the delivery of a new generation of online services for SMEs.

Gerard van de Aast, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Solutions and Services Group, Compaq EMEA, thought the initiative would greatly benefit Compaq, enhancing its position as an enabler for service providers.

"The types of services offered by FirstMark as a result of this agreement have the potential to fundamentally reshape the productivity and competitiveness of European SMEs," said van de Aast.

FirstMark says that following the agreement it will now connect its pan-European Broadband Internet network to Compaq's European Technology Center in France.

Germany is the target for the first Broadband Internet Gateway, scheduled for the third quarter, with others being deployed in the U.K., Spain, and France in the following months.