Australian Products Dominate Internet World 98


The Internet World 98 conference opened in
Sydney, Australia, attracting record crowds and showcasing some pivotal
developments in the Internet industry.

Estimates of Tuesday’s numbers from conference organisers, Mecklermedia
and Kirby Network Services,
suggest that attendances are slightly up, in the fourth year that the show
has run in Sydney.

One local developer, Creative Digital
took the opportunity of the show to launch NetCommerce II, which it
claimed was the first SET-compliant merchant server application in the
world CDT’s updated package. It was awarded the Best of Show prize by the
Editor of
Internet World Australia magazine, Gerard Knapp, in the highly competitive
Business Software category.

In other categories, Australian developers dominated, with the unexpected
exception of a Kuwaiti vendor.
Zaksat won the Consumer Hardware Best
of Show award for
its satellite Internet delivery service, which was live on display at its
stand at Internet World 98.

Australian developer Knowledge by
took the
Business Hardware category for its “Telco in a Box”, a PC bundle that
allows voice over IP for up to 100 employees on a network through one
remotely Web-administered server.

Finally, Pacific Access won the
Consumer Software
section for its work in Internet-enabling Australia’s telephone
directories, the White Pages public list and Yellow Pages commercial
advertising directory, both of which are among the most popular Web sites
in Australia.

The opening of the conference also signalled the start of a three-day
string of conferences and keynotes.

In the ISPCON stream, Eric Scace, vice president of international
development at UUNET Technologies,
delivered a keynote address
in which he sounded warnings about the prospects of key technologies for
Internet service providers, and called into question the ability of the
Australian industry to keep up with phenomenal demand for bandwidth

Scace cited figures on the dramatic rise and fall in the number of ISPs
in the US, saying that economies of scale would inevitably lead to
consolidation of the market.

“We’d expect that to happen here, as it is happening in Europe and is
continuing to happen in the Japanese market,” Scace said.
He gave a pessimistic reading of several connectivity technologies,
including Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Voice-over-IP, and virtual
private networks (VPNs).

Scace claimed that the VPN market had grown slower than had been expected,
with branch networks sticking with leased lines instead of switching to
Internet-only connectivity.
He also asserted that ATM was “unlikely to survive” the Internet
revolution as a longhaul switching technology, and said that UUNET had
found that Voice-over-IP hardware was “not terribly scalable at the

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