MCI Introduces internetMCI: Portfolio of Services Includes New Secure Shopping Mall, Easy to Use Software and High-Speed Connections to the Internet
ATLANTA -- November 21, 1994--Making it easier for businesses and consumers to use and shop the Internet, MCI today announced "internetMCI," a portfolio of services featuring such components as a new secure electronic shopping mall, a user friendly software package for easy Internet access and high-speed network connections to the Internet.
"MCI is making the Internet as easy to use, as accessible and as critical to businesses as today's global phone network," said Timothy F. Price, president of MCI's Business Markets. "With internetMCI, businesses of all sizes will now be able to not only display but also directly sell their goods and services over the Internet. For the 25 million people on the Internet, shopping the Internet will become simple and secure."
The new MCI offering represents the most comprehensive set of Internet services in the industry, according to Price. "There are other companies that offer Internet-related services, but no one else offers the full range of applications software, access, storefronts and consulting services in one package," he said. "We now have everything companies need to promote commerce over the net. This is what American businesses have been waiting for."
Users of internetMCI will be able to browse and shop in MCI's new Internet shopping mall called marketplaceMCI. MCI said it is working with a number of America's most well-known retailers and information providers to design storefronts for them when marketplaceMCI opens early next year. MCI has already begun beta testing on-line electronic shopping with about 40,000 employees.
A key component of internetMCI is a software system developed by Netscape Communications (formerly Mosaic Communications). Using encryption technology from RSA Data Security, the system integrates a number of components into a secure environment. Included are the Netscape Navigator server and database software for storefront management and secure credit-card clearing. Also included is a digital signature system operated by MCI to certify and identify valid merchants for internetMCI. The complete system allows consumers to shop and make secure transactions directly over the Internet without the fear of having their credit card number or other sensitive information stolen by electronic eavesdroppers. The software package also has point-and-click technology that lets consumer and business users easily and quickly browse the Internet's World Wide Web over ordinary phone lines.
"Transaction security is the last major hurdle to making the Internet a viable marketing and distribution channel for businesses," said Price. "By the year 2000, MCI expects commerce on the Internet will exceed $2 billion and be as common as catalog shopping is today."
Through an agreement with FTP Software, Inc., MCI will provide the Internet Protocol software along with the Netscape software in one easy-to-install package. FTP Software, the leading independent supplier of TCP/IP-based network software, will also provide MCI with integration and support of its software. MCI will offer internetMCI software to customers at prices starting as low as $49.95. The internetMCI software will also be included at no additional charge to customers of networkMCI BUSINESS, an integrated information and communications software package.
MCI will market storefronts to retailers and service companies that want to promote and sell their goods to the estimated 25 to 30 million people who can now access the Internet worldwide. MCI will offer businesses consulting in the design, implementation and management of their storefronts, in addition to the added value of MCI's ongoing promotion and marketing of the new mall services.
MCI To Provide High-Speed Connections to Internet
MCI's internetMCI Access Services will be fully integrated with its existing business long distance services. Internet access will be available in a wide range of methods from switched local and 800 access and dedicated access to more advanced switched data services such as ISDN, frame relay and, in the future, SMDS and ATM. A full Internet service provider, MCI will offer dedicated access to the Internet from nearly 400 locations in the U.S.
Another component of internetMCI is the company's new high-speed connections to the Internet through the new MCI Internet Network. This network is one of the highest capacity, most widely-deployed commercial Internet backbones in the world, providing businesses with direct and reliable connections to the Internet. Compared to most conventional Internet access networks, MCI Internet Network offers greater transmission speed and capacity because the network operates at 45 megabits per second. Next year, MCI will increase the speed of the MCI Internet Network to 155 megabits per second, capable of transmitting 10,000 pages in less than a second or a 90-minute movie in just three minutes.
MCI Selected as Primary Internet Carrier
Following its selection by some of the major regional Internet providers in the U.S., MCI will become one of the world's largest carriers of Internet traffic -- carrying more than 40 percent of all the U.S. Internet traffic. The regional Internet providers BARRnet; CICnet; CSUnet; JVNCnet; Los Nettos; Merit; MICHnet; MIDNet; NEARnet; NorthWestNet; SURAnet; and Sesquinet) have been a part of the Internet since its inception and have been a major force in the drive towards ubiquitous network connectivity, which has helped make the Internet so popular.
MCI's Internet initiatives are being directed by Vinton G. Cerf, MCI senior vice president for data architecture, and an industry-recognized "Father of the Internet," along with a team of world-class experts on the Internet.
"The Internet is a global resource of unmeasured value and potential to educators, governments, businesses and consumers," said Cerf. "MCI is preserving and enhancing the intelligence and economic power of the Internet while making it easier and more accessible than ever before."
MCI Showcases Interactive Multimedia Message on the Internet
Earlier this month, MCI began an innovative marketing campaign on the Internet that plays off the company's successful Gramercy Press ads for networkMCI BUSINESS. Users of the Internet can, with a click of the mouse, learn more about the characters in the Gramercy Press commercials, even hear their voices or see video images of them. The campaign, which already has been viewed by more than 100,000 Internet users, has an interactive component that allows Internet users to actually submit their art, poetry or short stories for viewing on the Internet. MCI selects pieces and publishes them on the "net," where they can be viewed by the millions of users of the Internet worldwide.
Internet users can travel to Gramercy Press on their own (address: http://www.mci.com/gramercy/intro.html) or via "Hotwired," the new on-line spinoff of "Wired" magazine. MCI is a sponsor of the magazine's "Flux" section, which offers news about Internet movers and shakers. Hotwired members can reach Gramercy Press at http://www.hotwired.com (click-on "signal" zone).
"The Internet is a marketer's dream come to life," added Price. "It's full-color, full-motion and full of potential. MCI not only expects to be on the leading edge of marketing its own services on the Internet, but also in the forefront of helping our customers tap the marketing power of the Internet."
For more information on internetMCI, call 1-800-779-0949.
With 1993 revenue of nearly $12 billion, MCI Communications Corporation is one of the world's largest communications companies. Headquartered in Washington D.C., MCI has more than 65 offices in 58 countries and places. The company's Atlanta-based MCI Business Markets provides a wide range of communications and information services to America's businesses, including networkMCI BUSINESS, long distance voice, data and video services, and consulting and outsourcing services.