AT&T Readies ISP-in-a-Box


Los Angeles -- Cable operators may have more competitors in
Internet delivery, from the local insurance office to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., with a new
suite of business solutions from AT&T Corp.'s AT&T Business Services unit.

Any business -- say, a brokerage -- can brand an
opening-access page and serve 50,000 or more customers, contracting with AT&T for a
"virtual Internet-service provider."

AT&T will provide basic dial-up Internet access,
private-label customer care, client software, e-mail and end-user billing.

"Insurance companies and marketing firms are looking
at this as a marketing tool to guarantee that your eyes go through them" to the
Internet, AT&T Internet Services vice president Kathleen Earley said. The "ISP in
a box" will be available in June.

The Internet division is working with AT&T Broadband
& Internet Services to ensure that products work on the broadband network.
Business-services trials are under way in a few homes to ensure that home workers, for
instance, can use cable access.