Qwest, IBM Set Internet Venture

The companies expect revenues to be split almost equally.
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Qwest

(Q)

and

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

announced Monday that they would form a $5 billion venture to build 28 CyberCenters within the next three years in order to meet the growing demand for companies using the Internet for business transactions.

The companies expect revenues to be split almost equally, according to a statement.

Qwest, based in Denver, brings high-speed broadband Internet access to the so-called CyberCenters, which will be supported by Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM. The first four centers will be located in Dallas, Philadelphia, Sterling, Va., and the San Jose, Calif., area. The current plans are to have 14 such centers operational by the end of the year in major cities across the U.S.

The features of the sites will include a variety of e-business services like Web hosting and platforms for application services.

Lee Wilkes, Qwest president of

Internet and Multimedia Markets

, said in a statement that the initiative will improve customers' financial performance, lower their costs and cut their time of implementing these services.

Qwest expects to operate a total of 42 CyberCenters in the U.S. and Canada.

IBM was up 6 1/2, or 5%, to 127 1/8 while Qwest rose 2 3/4, or 6%, to 49 1/4 in early trading Monday. (IBM closed up 5 15/16, 5%, to 126 9/16 while Qwest closed up 4, or 9%, to 50 1/2).