Continuing coverage of recent WT stories
Montgomery County Cellular Tax Passes - Again
On June 11, Maryland's Montgomery County Council overrode a veto of a cellular phone tax by County Executive Douglas Duncan (WT May 23).
Duncan objected to the tax for several reasons. First, the money generated, which is approximately $1.9 million a year, is not being used to make up a deficit. It would be added the county's financial reserves, which are already at $55 million. Duncan also said this tax sends out a message that the county is not a place for high-tech businesses to locate.
Council members are concerned that reserves will dip below an acceptable amount and that unanticipated events will eat up money. They also believe that telecommunications taxes should be evenly applied between cellular and land lines.
Full Speed Ahead
Amid customer cries that the Internet is too slow, MCI Communications Corp. and its partner British Telecommunications announced they will create an unprecedented high-speed global Internet network (WT, March 7). The companies would combine their existing Internet systems into eight new regional Internet hubs around the world. The initial hubs will be located in Australia, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, the U.K. and the United States; 20 hubs are planned by year's end.
MCI and BT estimate the network will increase the overall international capacity of the Internet by 30 percent.
The Concert InternetPlus service would provide Internet and intranet transport, dedicated and dial-up access and other services in 70 countries. Ultimately, said MCI, the system would serve as a private global network for businesses for applications such as groupware, e-mail, messaging and electronic commerce.
MCI and Intel Try to Jump-Start Electronic Commerce
MCI Communications Corp.'s latest in a string of joint ventures (WT, April 11) is a partnership with Intel Corp. to sell multimedia networking solutions for the Internet.
The first offering, called networkMCI WebMaker, is software to create and manage Web sites. MCI and Intel are also working on other multimedia products that would include guaranteed bandwidth.
Bert Roberts, chairman and CEO of MCI, said the partnership represents a new step for business applications on the Internet. "Our work with MCI will deliver to millions of PC users connected to the Internet the same quality multimedia experience they have come to expect from their PCs," said Andrew Grove, president and CEO of Intel.
Internet Company to Buy Telco
International call-back and Internet access company IDT Corp., Hackensack, N.J. (WT, Nov. 23, 1995) said it is in negotiations to acquire Econophone, a New York phone company. According to an IDT spokesman, the company's goal is to become a competitive long distance carrier that offers free Internet access. IDT also hopes the acquisition would help it to become an international Internet player by using Econophone's overseas telecom infrastructure.
The Trident Group, Reston, Va., (WT, March 21) has financed five deals since establishing its partnership with Ostrander Burch & Co. Inc., Raleigh, N.C. The partnership has struck deals with a small company, a government contractor, a public company experiencing rapid growth, a low-tech company that refurbishes toner cartridges and a software encryption company. The deals required $6 million worth of financing.
Trident provides technology licensing, acquisition and commercialization services to emerging technology companies. Ostrander Burch & Co. provides investment banking services. The partnership was struck last February in an effort to bring investment banking resources to Washington area emerging technology companies.