CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 16, 1995-- Champaign-Urbana is on its way to becoming a model electronic community on the information superhighway, thanks to a partnership announced today by Ameritech and the Champaign County Network (CCNet).
CCNet is a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce with a goal of facilitating access to high-speed communications for business, education, government, agribusiness, health care and home users by working with a variety of vendors on a variety of collective solutions.
Through the CCNet partnership, Ameritech will introduce two powerful new services. One is a home and office communications system that integrates communications and computer functions over a single telephone line. This system gives home computer users and small businesses the ability to send and receive data, graphics and text up to nine times faster than with a standard computer modem. The second service is a high-speed Internet Access Service in Champaign County.
`Ameritech views Champaign-Urbana, home of many significant advances in computers and information processing, as an ideal test town for the next generation of communications services,` said Doug Schuemann, Ameritech's CCNet program manager. `CCNet has created an environment that gives us a great opportunity to learn how we can deliver the business and lifestyle benefits of the information superhighway in ways that are friendly, simple and easy to use.`
`This partnership will allow everyone -- from the farmer to the student to the small business entrepreneur -- to feel the pull of the information superhighway and how it can enrich the way they live, learn and work,` said Lee O'Neill, chairman of CCNet. `As Ameritech makes its new products and services available, our network of people will help our schools, businesses and hospitals to use them for their benefit.`
Ameritech's participation includes the first real-world application of the Ameritech Home Professional Package and its equivalent, the Ameritech Business Professional Package. Introduced in January at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and highlighted in USA Today and Business Week, the packages connect personal computers, telephones and fax machines using standard phone cable that already exists within the home or office. Ameritech is the first communications company to design such packages around the needs of home and small business customers.
The Ameritech Home/Business Professional Packages use high-speed digital phone lines or ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network). ISDN allows simultaneous transmission of voice, data and video communications over a single telephone line. These high-speed phone lines save customers time when downloading files from across the street or around the world, transmitting complex documents to clients or sending faxes. They will allow, for example, architects to send drawings and doctors to read X-rays and reports. The packages also allow customers to manage incoming and outgoing calls from the convenience of a personal computer.
Ameritech's investment in the CCNet partnership includes expanded access to ISDN lines for homes, businesses and schools in the Champaign-Urbana area. Ameritech also is providing a platform for Internet access via ISDN or regular telephone lines. Later this year, the partnership plans to offer other services, such as voice mail and videoconferencing, and develop other projects targeted at libraries, local government, health care, student housing and specific industries.
`Two years ago we were challenged to take advantage of the resources available in this community, especially the Mosaic(TM) Internet browsing software designed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois,` O'Neill said. `Although there are other test projects going on in other communities, Champaign County is working to be the first fully-integrated community with a variety of connectivity solutions for different types of businesses, organizations and individuals.`
NCSA Director Larry Smarr said, `We are proud to have been the catalyst for creating the first community whose local communications network is completely coupled to the world of the Internet. We believe Champaign County will be a model for communities throughout the United States as we build a digital America.`
Ameritech, one of the world's largest communications companies, helps more than 13 million customers keep in touch. The company provides a wide array of local phone, data and video services in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Ameritech is creating dozens of new information, entertainment and interactive services for homes, businesses and governments around the world.
One of the world's leading cellular companies, Ameritech serves 1.3 million cellular and 635,000 paging customers, and holds cellular interests in Norway and Poland. Ameritech owns interests in telephone companies in New Zealand and Hungary and in business directories in Germany and other countries. Nearly 1 million investors hold Ameritech (NYSE: AIT) shares. -0- BACKGROUND: The Ameritech Home/Business Professional Packages Powerful home and office communications systems which integrate communications and computer functions over a single telephone line A joint project between Ameritech and Motorola, the Ameritech Home/Business Professional Packages integrate the telephone and home personal computer, expanding the way they work together. After a successful introduction in January at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, these new products are being test marketed as part of Ameritech's partnership with CCNet (Champaign County Network).
The Ameritech-CCNet partnership will make Champaign-Urbana a model electronic community on the information superhighway. CCNet is a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce with a goal of facilitating access to high-speed communications for business, education, government, agribusiness, health care, and the home user by working with a variety of vendors on a variety of collective solutions.
Using a high-speed digital phone line, a terminal adapter designed by Motorola and an easy-to-use call-management software package, the Ameritech Home/Business Professional Packages provide: - Easy, high-speed access to the Internet. - High-speed data transmission, up to nine times faster than transmissions using regular telephone lines, saving customers time when downloading files from the Internet, transmitting complex documents to clients or sending faxes. - Simultaneous call handling giving customers the ability to talk on the phones and at the same time, send or receive information via fax or modem. - Call management designed for the home professional enabling customers to do conference calling, bridge together calls received separately, see the phone number of the incoming call on their PC screen using caller ID, and listen to voice mail messages by simply `pointing and clicking` on icons. - Automatic telephone services enabling customers to store and display all incoming or outgoing calls, listing the phone number, caller, date, time and call length for accurate client billing. To return one of the calls, customers just select it and click their computer mouse to dial. - The capability for architects to send drawings, doctors to read X-rays, lawyers to track phone calls for client billing, and students to participate in distance learning programs and access the Internet -- all from the convenience of their home and office.
Home computer users can access the service for as low as half the cost of similar systems currently used by businesses. Customers in Champaign-Urbana will have the kind of system that in the past has been too complex and costly for home and small business use.
Ameritech is the first communications company to design and price packages that use digital phone lines around the needs of home computer users, including students and professionals, and small business customers. Ameritech provides affordable and user-friendly packages The Ameritech Home/Business Professional Packages include access to a digital phone line for as low as $35 per month in Champaign County, plus standard consumer and business usage rates. The terminal adapter designed by Motorola costs $399, or $19 per month for 24 months. Consumers and businesses presently would need to spend more than $1,000 to match the capabilities of the Motorola adapter.
Ameritech will also offer several pricing promotions, including an affiliate program through which business customers may purchase high-speed Internet access through the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce at discounted rates. --30--ss/ny.. CONTACT: Ameritech Doug McFarlan, Ameritech, 217/789-5170 or Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, Rick Kubetz, 217/359-1791 KEYWORD: ILLINOIS INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TELECOMMUNICATIONS INTERACTIVE/MULTIMEDIA REPEATS: New York 212-575-8822 or 800-221-2462; Boston 617-330-5311 or 800-225-2030; SF 415-986-4422 or 800-227-0845; LA 310-820-9473
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