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RealTime IT News

World-Tel In Venture For Internet Community-Access Centres In India

World-Tel In Venture for Internet Community-Access Centres in India
Sam Pitroda, chairman and CEO of London-based World-Tel and former chairman of India's Telecom Commission, recently visited India to discuss the development of Internet community centres in the states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

"Our goal really is to transform Internet use by creating local market, local databases," said Pitroda. Local information will include school and university admissions and exam results, employment, house rentals, farm prices, public health care, food distribution, transaction business, commerce, art and culture.

WorldTel is expected to bring in foreign investment to the tune of $50-60 million.

(Economic Times, India; September 10, 1998)

IBM Japan In Venture for Integrated Service for Multiple Cybermalls
IBM Japan, Dai Nippon Printing and Japan Telecom started testing a service to link four virtual malls.

The "Mall Pipeline" concept, announced last October, includes search services across multiple virtual malls and allows companies to post their joint banner ads across malls to maximise the effects of such ads.

Participating cybermalls are expected to use Net.Commerce, IBM Japan's software to construct the malls.

(Nikkei BizTech, Japan; September 11, 1998)

Thai Association Urges Government Not to Stifle E-Commerce
The Association of Thai Computer Industry (ATCI) has urged the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec) not to introduce too many rules or regulations which many stifle electronic commerce.

ATCI President Manoo Ordeedolchest said the association was concerned about unnecessary limitations being put on e-commerce. ATCI also wants the government agency to educate the general public on e-commerce.

"We should take time studying, analysing and adopting e-commerce laws of other countries or organisations to meet the needs of our own culture and position," he noted.

(Bangkok Post; September 9, 1998)

MSN Revamps British Edition of Portal Service
Microsoft plans to launch an updated version 1.6 of the MSN portal for Britain.

HotMail is now the most prominent feature of the new opening page; MSN estimates the number of HotMail users in Britain at 711,000. The next addition, in November, will be Expedia.co.uk-- the British version of the successful U.S. travel service.

(Internet magazine, Britain; September 10, 1998)

Telecom Deregulation, Lower Computer Duties Boost Net in Sri Lanka
The customer base of most of Sri Lanka's seven ISPs doubled in the past year and the number of Internet subscribers is estimated to pass 50,000 by year 2000, up from 12,000 to 14,000 users now.

Most computer vendors now throw in a free Internet connection with every purchase. Sanjay Mendis, assistant product manager of Eureka On Line, said the growth is directly linked to the deregulation of the telecom industry and licensing of two wireless loop operators--Lanka Bell and Suntel--two years ago.

(Reuters News Agency; September 8, 1998)

Excite In Tie-Up to Launch Portal Service In Australia
Internet investment group LibertyOne announced a partnership with portal company Excite to launch the Excite portal service in Australia.

The new service will use technology from Excite, the local business expertise of LibertyOne and content from the J.B Fairfax media network. George Bell, CEO of Excite said the venture will give them a strong basis from which to launch into the Asia Pacific market.

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced that it will soon launch its Hotmail service in the country.

(I-Net.com, Australia; September 8, 1998)

Singapore Government Gazette To Be Published On Web
The Singapore government gazette will soon be posted online, according to the Ministry of Information and the Arts.

It will provide updates of government notices, tenders, changes in legislation and appointments at 5 pm every weekday. Archived material will be available to paid subscribers of eGazette.

(Singapore Business Times; September 8, 1998)

New Zealand Needs New Economic Strategy For the Internet Age
New Zealand needs a new economic strategy, based around using information and the Internet to turn ideas into money, according to Howard Frederick, chair of communications at Victoria University.

Government needs to formulate some kind of legal framework for digital signatures to get businesses harnessing secure online transactions and deal with other regulatory issues. However, beyond setting the rules in these areas, New Zealanders don't want direct government intervention, he said.

(InfoTech Weekly, New Zealand; September 7, 1998)