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ARCHIVED  May 1, 1996

Internet providers escalate Weld County competition

GREELEY – At least two new companies have followed WeldNet into the race to provide Greeley and Weld County businesses with Internet access.

Last month, WeldNet announced it had signed up 75 to 100 businesses in its first six weeks of operations.

While WeldNet, a service of Clark and Thompson Online Services Inc., continues to expand, the Northern Colorado CommunityNet and GreeleyNet

hope to attract additional cyber traffic.

“We’re a commercial Internet service,´ said Bill Crews, a managing partner of Vanguard Internet Services LLC, which operates Northern Colorado

CommunityNet.

“We hope to specialize in higher-end interactive pages,” he said.

For example, car dealers using the product might be able to update inventory, and a browser could download detailed information about vehicles.

Vanguard will try to attract companies with catalog sales, real estate agents and other businesses that would benefit from the interactive pages.

Public services will include a community page where users can browse information about clubs, organizations and support groups. Nonprofits will

receive free listings, and those selling products can purchase listings, Crews said.

Plus, a discussion room should provide a forum about local issues, he added. An education and arts page also is part of the package. Northern

Colorado CommunityNet intends to serve Greeley, Windsor, Ault and Eaton.

“It’s too early to gauge traffic,” Crews said. “We’re still in the construction phase.”

Vanguard is in the business of design and implementation for the Internet; the group does not act as a server.

“We don’t maintain a server, but we provide server space,” he said.

As for the competition, Crews believes there’s “room for as many as you have quality products.”

Ron Thompson, co-owner of Clark and Thompson, believes the additional Internet-related companies are an outcropping of Greeley’s failure to so far

come up with a community Internet project such as the Fort Collins Community Network, known as FortNet, a nonprofit community service with a

for-profit arm.

“At the moment, this puts three or four people out there trying to be a community network,” Thompson said.

Indeed, the lack of a community network did inspire Jeff Bristol to launch GreeleyNet. In business for two months, GreeleyNet is offering a wide

range of free community services, but is funded by businesses that want to buy advertising.

“Our primary goal is as a community information service,” Bristol said.

But WeldNet officials say that service is much more broad-based.

Clark and Thompson provides dial-up service and design, and operates a server.

“To my knowledge, we are the only place in Greeley offering a T-1 connection and a wide broad bandwidth,” Thompson said. A T-1 connection

opens the door from the server to the backbone of the Internet. The bandwidth determines how many users can be on a single line and how much

information can be transmitted.

“Our big advantage is that we were the first provider, we’re all local and we’re working with many local businesses,” he said.

Additionally, WeldNet recently expanded to offer a large number of new services and more T-1 lines.

“Even if somebody comes along, doing exactly what we are,” Thompson said, “we’ll stay better and faster.”

GREELEY – At least two new companies have followed WeldNet into the race to provide Greeley and Weld County businesses with Internet access.

Last month, WeldNet announced it had signed up 75 to 100 businesses in its first six weeks of operations.

While WeldNet, a service of Clark and Thompson Online Services Inc., continues to expand, the Northern Colorado CommunityNet and GreeleyNet

hope to attract additional cyber traffic.

“We’re a commercial Internet service,´ said Bill Crews, a managing partner of Vanguard Internet Services LLC, which operates Northern Colorado

CommunityNet.

“We hope to specialize in higher-end interactive pages,” he said.

For example, car…

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