AT&T may buy a stake in an Internet telephony start-up, founded by a vice president who resigned this week.
This would make AT&T the latest major telco to legitimise Internet telephony by moving into the market itself.
This week Tom Evslin, head of online service AT&T Worldnet, resigned to devote himself full time to his start-up, ITXC (Internet Telephony Exchange Carrier). It provides inter-exchange services, such as routing and settlement, to Internet telephony service providers.
John Petrillo, AT&T's executive vice president for corporate strategy and business development, will get a seat on the ITXC board and the new company is already working with Vocaltec Communications, which develops technology to bridge Internet and public switched networks.
Many telcos are making plans to cash in on the Internet telephony market, which threatens to rob them of a large proportion of their long distance call revenue over time.
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