Almost a 'third' of all UK businesses are now using the Inernet in some way, and many more are eager to connect up over the coming months.These are results of research commissioned by PIPEX from a leading hi-tech research company in November 1994 into the way large companies are using, or planning to use, the Internet over the next 12 months.
The results show that email is still seen as the most useful Internet tool and corporate users still view improved com-munications with employees, customers and suppliers as the most important benefit that Internet access gives. However, the sourcing and provision of information, and file transfer capabilities are gaining recognition and growing in importance as ways of improving business opportunities and efficiency.
The corporate Internet community continues to outweigh the academic and home user sector, and all sectors look set to increase dramatically over the next twelve months. According to INPUT, the global IT market intelligence firm, by the year 2000, the population connected to the Internet will grow to more than 200 million and business-to-business electronic commerce volumes transacted over the Internet may reach $75 billion worldwide (Business First, 19 Dec 94).
Keeping pace with the forever increasing growth rate of the Internet, PIPEX has seen a monthly 10% growth in take ups of their connections services, including such names as Eurodollar, HM Treasury, IBM Hursley Park, National Westminster Bank.
In response to the expanding applications and varying needs of customers, PIPEX has been busy making additions and changes to their Internet access services offerings.
In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a reminder. The company provides full commercial Internet connectivity via a range of dialup and high bandwidth leased line sevices, giving access to email, file transfer, remote login and online information services worldwide.
PIPEX has packet exchange agreements with JANET, EUnet GB, the Ebone European network, the National Science Foundation network in the US, and full membership of CIX (Commercial Internet Exchange), alongside AlterNet, PSInet, EUnet, CERFnet, SprintNet and NorduNET.
Over recent months PIPEX has joined forces with a string of European Internet providers to form PIPEX International. The formation of this new operation has made the company’s services available to millions of potential customers in many other European countries and means that PIPEX international is now probably the largest provider of commercial-quality Internet services in Europe, with access to some 50 PoPs Europe-wide. Standard PIPEX connections are now available in the following countries: Belguim, Eire, France, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain.
European customers can now contact PIPEX International Partners (IPs) to source and support their connections across Europe on a local basis. The partners offer the core connections of PIPEX Worldwide PLUS, and PIPEX’s ISDN and Caller services at the same level of service, support, performance and bandwidth as is supplied to the company’s UK customers.
Plans are afoot to make additional services available to the PIPEX International customers and PIPEX is continuing negotiations to sign up official PIPEX IPs from other countries which currently do not have this level of service, eventually planning to offer a range of services on a truly global scale.
As the test marketing phase of PIPEX’s single-user dialup service draws to a close, the company is set to launch the PIPEX Dial package, with a Macintosh version of the product already in development.
PIPEX Dial has been developed as a low cost, turnkey solution for the individual user as a direct response to meet the growing demand for commercial quality Internet access services by mobile executives and remote users within large corporates. The PIPEX Dial service also fulfills the need for Internet access by small businesses and home users but PIPEX will meet this market primarily through channel marketing.
PIPEX Dial gives full Internet access and installs in just a few minutes. It includes the new PPP kernel from FTP Software, Netscape 1.0 browser for WWW and Usenet access, Mail-It email package, Telnet and Ping utilities and a POP mailbox for sending and receiving mail. The service costs £50 set up with an annual fee of £180 (£15/month), plus VAT.
PIPEX Dial enables a company to keep in touch with employees off-site and will even work wth a GSM mobile phone! The package offers full Internet PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) dialup access via the PIPEX network from anywhere in the UK, using just a portable PC running Microsoft Windows and a modem, giving about 70% local call coverage. Network overheads are minimised by Dynamic Address Allocation which allocates IP numbers on the fly on a session-by-session basis and users can minimise call costs buy dialing into their nearest PIPEX Dialup Point of Presence (POP), so reducing telephone bills.
The WWW (World Wide Web) is the fasted growing area of the Internet and to meet this interest, PIPEX launched a new range of WWW services last Autumn, including PIPEX Worldstore and PIPEX Worldweb. The WWW is a major way in which companies will be able to buy and sell their wares in the future and is a massive potential marketing tool.
To host these services, PIPEX installed the 45GB PIPEX Worldserver, directly connected into the PIPEX backbone at its main London POP at London Telehouse in Docklands with more than 17 Mb of external connectivity to the PIPEX network. This makes it the largest commercial public file server in Europe.
PIPEX Web services provide customers with a secure and easy way of setting up their own WWW pages or FTP server on the Internet. The way it works is that PIPEX effectively ‘leases’ a particular portion of the Worldserver machine to each subscriber. To support the service, PIPEX offers high level consultancy on security and charging mechanisms as well as the design of Web pages, so that any customer with a digital PIPEX connection can post up a wide range of corporate and product information which can be accessed by thousands of users simultaneously.
PIPEX likes to think of itself as something of a pioneer and is continually working to update and improve the technology of its services. As a result of the development of new hub technology the company was able to announce price reductions for the ISDN and Analogue Dialup services. The new pricing structure for PIPEX ISDN PLUS, PIPEX ISDN, PIPEX Caller PLUS and PIPEX Caller services came into effect this January.
PIPEX ISDN PLUS:
set up fee £1000 (formerly £1800)
annual fee £4000 (formerly £6000)
set up fee £250 (formerly £1000)
annual fee £4000 (same)
PIPEX Caller PLUS:
set up fee £1000 (formerly £1500)
annual fee £ 2500 (formerly £4000)
set up fee £250 (same)
annual fee £1200 (formerly £2000)
All the above +VAT. Call charges are met by the customer but analogue customers are connected to their nearest POP to minimise costs.
COMING SOON .....
PIPEX already supplies many corporates with digital leased lines of 64K, 128K and 256K bandwidth but plans are underway to provide even higher bandwidth connections.
PIPEX will install their third transatlantic 768K (plus compression) line during March, and this will be integrated into the PIPEX Backbone by Mid-April. This third line will give added capacity and resilience to the existing network and, since each of the three lines to the US use different submarine cables, there is no single point of failure in the transatlantic link.
The next European upgrade will be the addition of a 128K line into Paris to provide access for PIPEX to yet another neutral interconnect site.
These improvements will bring the total bandwidth from the PIPEX backbone to other third party networks to over 2.5 Mpbs, with an additional 10Mbps to the LINX, a UK neutral interconnect based at PIPEX’s London POP.
The unique structure of the PIPEX backbone means that there is no single point of failure as the set up is such that there is always a second, or even a third, way for information to run.
PIPEX has a calender of PIPEX seminars planned for the coming months and the company is regularly invited to participate in user group meets and conferences.