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Recently, AT&T and MCI made their intentions of going after the growing Internet access market loud and clear. AT&T is offering all residential long-distance customers who sign up for its WorldNet Service in 1996 five free hours of Internet access per month for an entire year. And MCI is touting similarly competitive plans for its long-distance customers.

What does this mean for the approximately 3,000 existing Internet service providers (ISPs), many of whom are small entrepreneurial companies? "To the entrepreneur, AT&T and MCI present a formidable challenge," says Don Heath, president and CEO of The Internet Society, which seeks global cooperation and coordination for the Internet. "They've got the resources and the capabilities to offer services entrepreneurs can't."

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