RealTime IT News

International Briefs

May 13

PC-TV Devices Likely to Make Only Small Impact in European Market
Britain-based research company INTECO's latest report on Internet trends claims devices like WebTV will make a relatively small impact on the British Internet market over the next few years.

The major area of Internet growth will continue to be people who own PCs. There are currently around 1.5 million households in Britain accessing the Internet through a PC; this is expected to rise to 4.6 million by the year 2001.

The trend seems to hold across Europe, with 6.8 million PC-based users in Germany and only 1.6 million non-PC-based users.

Satellite Link Launched for Internet Access to Ghana
Africa Online and Teleglobe Communications have launched a new satellite Internet connection serving users in Ghana.

Service to Cote d'Ivoire and Kenya is planned later in the summer.

Africa Online, a subsidiary of Prodigy, is the largest ISP in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Kenya, and recently expanded to serve Egypt, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

Teleglobe runs a worldwide Internet backbone and IP routing service called GlobeInternet.

(Web Vision, India; May 15, 1998) Reduced Access Fees to Boost Internet in Tunisia
Tunisia has cut the monthly charges and communication fees for subscribers to the Internet to boost use of the network by individuals and businesses, the communications ministry said.

The number of Internet subscribers has risen to 3,500 at mid-April from just 83 at the end of 1986, officials at the Agence Tunisienne de l'Internet (ATI) said.

The number of subscribers is expected to rise to 10,000 at the end of 1998.

(Reuters News Agency; May 4, 1998)

Cisco to Set Up Internet Academies in Asia-Pacific
Cisco Systems will be setting up institutes called Cisco Networking Academies in Asia-Pacific countries over the next few years to train young people for the Internet generation.

Cisco has set up such academies across the U.S., and is starting to establish them in Japan and Australia, CEO John Chambers said.

The next two decades will see the explosion of what Chambers called an Internet economy. "In this new Internet economy, the jobs are going to go to those countries where people know how to use the Internet," he said.

(Singapore Business Times; May 5, 1998)

Australian Government Plans Copyright Reform for Internet Age
Australian Attorney-General Daryl Williams and Minister for Communications Senator Richard Alston announced that the country's planned changes to the copyright act will ensure a technology-neutral protection regime for creative works.

In a move that will be welcomed by ISPs, the government has also indicated that the reforms to the act will exempt network carriers and ISPs from the liability for copyright infringements caused by their customers' content.

(I-Net.com magazine, Australia; May 5, 1998)

Amazon.com Arrives in Britain, Booksellers Brace for Price War
British booksellers and publishers are braced for the onslaught of a U.S.-style online price war following Amazon.com's arrival in Britain.

It offers more than 2.5 million titles at discounts of up to 40 percent. It has just established a British base by buying Bookpages, Britain's second largest specialist Internet bookshop.

Amazon's arrival in Britain is part of a European expansion programme that includes the acquisition of Telebook, Germany's biggest online specialist bookseller.

(Financial Times, Britain; April 29, 1998)

Watchdog Agency Urges Asian Countries to Fight Online Software Piracy
The piracy watchdog Business Software Alliance (BSA) launched efforts in Asia to fight rising software piracy on the Internet.

"Unless the issues of Internet piracy are addressed adequately and in a timely manner, software theft over the Internet will undermine efforts to make the Internet a safe place to conduct business," said VP Robert Kruger.

Kruger called on Asian countries to curb the trend through educational awareness programs, legislative action and enforcement.

In Asia, Web sites offering pirated products are easily accessible.

(Kyodo News Service, Japan; April 22, 1998)

Korean Firms Invest Less in Internet Services
Faced with increasing costs during the current financial crisis, Korea's online and Internet service companies have cut back investments this year.

Hyundai Information & Communication said it decided to invest 9.5 billion won (US$6.8 million) in its Internet service in 1998, 18 percent less than the previous year.

Chollian online service provider Dacom said it has frozen its investment at last year's 25 billion won. Samsung SDS said it reduced investment in its Unitel service from 15 billion won last year to only 6 billion won this year.

(Maeil Business Newspaper, Korea; April 20, 1998)

Taiwanese Web Sites Help With International Procurement Operations
The Taipei Computer Association (TCA) recently launched a Web site called Electronics Online to help international procurement offices of multinational clients access local resources, thereby also marketing local products to global clients.

The Web site allows members to update product information, contact buyers via e-mail, and display pictures of products.

Trade Point Taiwan is another Web-based trade service set up by the China External Trade Development Council.

(Commercial Times, Taiwan; April 14, 1998)