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4th Network Hotels Get Wired with Hotmail E-mail Service and High Speed Internet Access; Hotmail and 4th Network Ink Agreement to Keep Business Travelers Connected.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 21, 1996--The Fourth Communications Network, Inc. (4th Network) of San Jose, CA, today announced it has signed an agreement with Hotmail Corporation of Sunnyvale, CA, to make remote e-mail access easier for business and leisure travelers.

Guests staying at popular hotels will no longer feel cut off from the information flow while traveling. 4th Network's High Speed Internet Access services and Hotmail's web-based e-mail service will provide private and feature rich e-mail accounts for those on the road.

Hotmail's global e-mail service will be included in 4th Network's suite of Interactive Services. 4th Network is currently installing High Speed Internet Access Services in over a dozen hotels, including Holiday Inns, Embassy Suites and Hiltons. The services are being made available in hotel business centers and high traffic areas initially, and will ultimately migrate to the hotel rooms themselves.

4th Network plans a major national roll-out starting in early 1997. President of 4th Network, Dr. Scott Lewis, said, "With e-mail being one of the primary drivers behind the explosive growth of the Internet, we are pleased to be able to include access to Hotmail's innovative new e-mail service as part of our mix of Internet-centric services."

Unlike typical e-mail systems that require software installation, or e-mail forwarding services that simply re-route e-mail from one computer to another, Hotmail's approach lets anyone use Hotmail to send, receive and retrieve their e-mail from remote computers or Web terminals anywhere in the world. 4th Network's High Speed Internet Access locations will provide hotel guests the ability to easily access the Hotmail Web site and stay in touch while traveling. Business travelers using Hotmail can immediately retrieve e-mail from their usual accounts without long-distance dial-up, software installation or connection hassles.

"Hotmail provides a central place for my personal and business e-mail and is exactly what I needed," said Hotmail user, Gary E. Sprigg, manager of customer service at The Software Group Limited. "Because I travel often for my company, I need a way to get my e-mail through the Internet no matter where I am. With Hotmail, I can check my POP server as long as I can get Internet access - 4th Network provides this service in hotels at 25 times normal modem speeds. I see this as the next step in guest services."

"We believe that Hotmail will revolutionize how people deal with their e-mail, particularly while on the road," said Steve Douty, Hotmail Vice President of Marketing. "The partnering of Hotmail and 4th Network is a perfect fit."

About Hotmail

Hotmail is the first globally accessible provider of free Web-based electronic mail and its services can be accessed from any Web terminal. Hotmail service is password protected, and includes features, such as MIME file attachment, personal address books, folders and embedded hyper-links. Hotmail subscribers can also send, view and navigate entire multimedia Web pages within a Hotmail message. The service is designed to handle upwards of 10 million subscribers, and is supported by advertising. Hotmail guarantees its subscribers will never receive unsolicited junk e-mail. Signing up for the services can be accomplished by accessing Hotmail at

About 4th Network

Founded more than four years ago, 4th Network, has long term, exclusive contracts to provide high-speed Internet access and high-bandwidth video services for business and leisure travelers in hotels both in the United States, and internationally. The firm has approximately 50,000 hotel rooms under contract in the United States. 4th Network is a privately held company with financial backing from leading private and corporate investors. Corporate institutions include Mitsui & Co. LTD., one of the world's largest trading companies and SOFTBANK the world's largest publisher of computer related magazines and books and the world's largest producer of technology related trade shows and expositions. SOFTBANK has made a variety of strategic investments in Internet companies including
Network can be found at

CONTACT: The Weber Group

Georgia Dawson, 415/325-8300


McLean Public Relations

Montrese Etienne, Kelly Herman, 415/513-8800
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 21, 1996
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