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User-Friendly Internet Service Sold to Virginia Company

February 11, 1995

The Pipeline Network Inc., a company that provides user-friendly access to the Internet computer network, was acquired Friday by Performance Systems International Inc., also an Internet service provider.

Performance Systems, based in Herndon, Va., plans to use the Pipeline’s acclaimed software program as part of a new national Internet service, to be unveiled in March. Terms of the transaction weren’t released.

The Pipeline software, developed for personal computers using the Microsoft Windows and the Macintosh operating systems, makes the complex Internet much easier to use. Customers can navigate the Internet by using a ``mouse,″ a computer pointing device, instead of remembering arcane and complex addresses and computer commands.

``We believe the national Pipeline service will appeal to on-line users everywhere,″ said Martin Schoffstall, senior vice president and chief technical officer for PSINet.

Pipeline, based in New York, was launched in November 1993 by author James Gleick and programmer Uday Ivatury. The service now has 10,000 subscribers.

Performance Systems claims to be the first commercial provider of Internet service. It runs a broad computer network known as PSINet that’s used for bank automated teller machines and other uses. PSINet plans to serve 120 metropolitan regions by the end of the first quarter of 1995, and 200 metro regions by the end of the year.

The new service will use PSINet’s high speed dialup network, which features advanced technology. PSINet’s new service will feature flat-fee pricing, which allows users to stay on-line for hours without incurring costly bills for hourly service.

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