AT&T launches World Wide Web Internet server, www.att.com
CHICAGO -- OCTOBER 19, 1994 -- AT&T is extending its commitment to global communications and computing with the launch of its own information site, or "home page," on the Internet.
AT&T's new Internet site was described yesterday by William Holland, a technical manager at AT&T Bell Laboratories, in a talk at the Second International World Wide Web Conference here. Holland heads a group responsible for AT&T's electronic gateway services.
The AT&T site, called "www.att.com," is situated on the Internet's World Wide Web -- often abbreviated as "the Web" or "WWW" -- a fast-growing and user-friendly section of the Internet. Offering a range of information about AT&T, its products and services, a sampling of what's available includes:
Visitors to the AT&T Web home page may also win T-shirts, books and other prizes that will be offered through random drawings and other promotional activities at the site.
AT&T's home page has been designed for access by Internet users of all kinds, from those with multimedia (sound, graphics and video) capabilities to text-only browsers. The system offers a number of full-color images and sounds. In the near future the AT&T Web site will offer a number of leading edge "You Will" type technology demonstrations, lists of frequently asked questions (FAQs), and a self-guided electronic tour of AT&T and its global operations.
"This is just the beginning for AT&T," said Ron Ponder, AT&T chief information officer. "We believe we have some interesting things to offer, but we want to listen to our readers and customers. In response, we will ensure that our site always carries information, capabilities, features and tools that people tell us they want."
It is estimated that some 20 to 30 million people have access to the Internet, either directly or through various commercial on-line services, Internet access providers, and corporate and academic networks. The number of Internet users is also growing dramatically as more user friendly browsing software, such as National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Mosaic, becomes widely available. (Mosaic is the most popular graphical browser for the Internet. More than two million copies of Mosaic are in use, and an additional 30,000 copies are being downloaded each month from the Internet.)
The World Wide Web is based on "hypertext" documents and files linked to each other through key words or "pointers" so that readers may pursue whatever interests them by pointing and clicking on highlighted words with a computer mouse, or by moving their cursor to the highlighted text and hitting the ENTER key.
The linked file or document may be located anywhere on the global Internet on any one of several thousand graphical, hyperlinked databases around the world. Users may download any information they are reading, or request the file or document to be sent via e-mail.
Ponder said AT&T's home page on the Web is expected to expand as more AT&T business units and organizations join the company-wide project. He said the company envisions three primary uses for its World Wide Web Internet server:
AT&T also expects to use the Web internally in various ways. For example, AT&T employees in one unit could use it to locate or identify resources or people in other AT&T organizations, faster and easier than they ever could before. Other internal applications may include database or resource sharing, collaboration on product and service development, and various other communications and data processing activities.
As AT&T's Web server continues to evolve, the company will enable customers to place orders for products and services directly while on-line. Work is continuing on the development of processes and systems to facilitate on-line ordering, purchasing and other financial transactions.
Internet users may access the AT&T site from various "What's New" pages and directories available on the Web, or they may connect directly by providing the Universal Resource Locator (URL) address of http://www.att.com/.
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. -- OCTOBER 19, 1994 -- Consumers and business people anxious to find toll-free 800 numbers for travel reservations, catalogs or other services can now locate that information easily on the Internet, thanks to a new directory source from AT&T.
The directory can be reach at the Universal Resource Locator (URL) of http://att.net/dir800/.
AT&T announced today that through the AT&T 800 Directory on the Internet more than 150,000 listings from AT&T's business and consumer yellow-page 800 directories are now found on the Internet's World Wide Web. The Internet is the information superhighway that links thousands of public and private computer networks.
An estimated 30 million Internet users can look up numbers by company name or category, or browse through the directory alphabetically. With each free inquiry, users will receive the company name, 800 number and main corporate location.
"While some companies have posted advertising and self-promotional materials on the Internet, AT&T has moved ahead with a practical, universal application -- a national directory source that enables millions of Internet users, for the first time, to look up 800 numbers for their favorite products and services," said Kathryn Sullivan, AT&T marketing vice president for new business services.
"This directory is literally a gateway to the national marketplace. And this is just the beginning. In the near future, our electronic 800 directory on the Internet will contain display ads like those shown in the printed directories. These ads will provide valuable information on a myriad of products and services being offered by the business community -- and the toll-free numbers to reach them," Sullivan said.
Early in 1995, the AT&T Internet directory will compensate for misspelled company names entered by users, and provide multiple choices on look-ups if there are several company listings with the same or similar names.
To access the AT&T 800 Directory, which is situated on the Internet's World Wide Web, users should key in the address: "http://att.net/dir800". Users will then be able to conduct a company or category search for the appropriate 800 numbers. The 800 numbers listed are reachable only when dialed within the United States.
Listings in the AT&T 800 Directory on the Internet are updated monthly, making it a convenient, up-to-date source for current national 800 number listings. Future versions of the service will enable AT&T Internet directory advertisers to update messages in their ads to reflect current promotions, sales or new business offerings.
Consumers or advertisers with questions about the AT&T 800 Directory on the Internet should call 1-800-562-2255.