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(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report


British Telecommunications


and their international joint venture,

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, said on Wednesday they would invest $2 billion over three years to bolster their e-commerce services.

In a statement, New York-based AT&T said the companies, which currently operate 14 global Internet data centers, would add another 11 centers this year in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Japan. By 2003, the group expects to expand its network to 44 centers in 16 countries.

"AT&T believes that Internet Data Centers are the 'next generation central offices' and we're committed to working with BT and Concert to build the world's leading global network of data centers,'' AT&T Chairman and CEO C. Michael Armstrong said in the statement.

Concert's IP backbone network, which currently covers 21 cities in 17 countries, will connect the Internet data centers.

On Wednesday, AT&T closed down 1 3/4, or 3%, at 54 3/4 while BT closed up 5/16, or 0.2% at 180 1/16.