Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, August 23, 1999

GTE Corp. links up with EarthLink

PASADENA, Calif. -- EarthLink Network Inc. said today it agreed to offer high-speed Internet access using GTE Corp.'s national digital subscriber line service.

The deal augments EarthLink's current DSL service agreement with Sprint Corp. DSL technology allows extremely fast access to the Internet using traditional phone lines. Speeds are as much as 50 times faster than today's modems. EarthLink, of Pasadena, Calif., said it plans to offer entry-level service using the GTE lines for about $50 a month. EarthLink and GTE said they plan to test the service in Los Angeles this quarter, with a commercial launch in 20 other markets during the fourth quarter of this year.

Saudi prince invests in Planet Hollywood

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia --Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he has pumped $10 million into the Planet Hollywood International Inc. which recently said it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to help ease its financial troubles. A statement yesterday from the prince's office in Riyadh said the fresh investment brings his stake in the chain to 20 percent from 16 percent.

Gates gives another $5 billion to charity

NEW YORK -- Bill Gates, the world's richest man, and his wife, Melinda, have donated more than $5 billion to their foundation dedicated to improving global health and learning, raising its total assets to $17.1 billion. The couple's recent gifts to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation included $200 million to bring computers, Internet access and training to North American libraries, and $100 million to hasten delivery of vaccines to children in developing countries, said Trevor Neilson, communications director of the foundation. Foundation officials said Gates, the Microsoft Corp . chairman, has now given more than $5 billion to the foundation in each of the first three quarters of 1999.

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