NetComm Broadens DSL Plans with Purchase

Modem and connection hardware manufacturer NetComm is looking to deploy a
broadband Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) network to the Australian market,
after signing a Memorandum of Understanding to acquire telecommunications
startup Van Gogh Investments (VGI).

NetComm director chairman Thomas Girgensohn described the purchase as
“an important strategic step” in the company’s quest to be a licensed
broadband DSL carrier. The planned network would provide high speed
Internet access, as well as voice, video on demand and other services.

NetComm is moving in the direction of telecommunications to capitalize
on its one million-plus modem customer base. The equipment manufacturer was
drawn to VGI because of DSL technology it has been developing, and this
technology will be the basis of the broadband strategy.

NetComm has developed its foundation in DSL by manufacturing ADSL modems
and related communications equipment, with a new router device currently in
development.

NetComm intends to begin deploying the network by December, with initial
services planned to be available in the first quarter of 2001. The company
expects its network to progressively roll out to around 2.5 million
Australian households and businesses.

The acquisition remains subject to shareholder approval, which will be
sought during a meeting expected to be held in August.

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