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According to Forrester Research, commerce on the Internet in the United States alone will be worth $45.8bn by the year 2000, with another $46bn of financial assets managed on the Net.

If you are a business planning to get involved, Planet Online would like to help you. It offers computer space at its Leeds headquarters - which you dial into using a high-speed ISDN connection. This, it says, is much cheaper than setting up a dedicated "server" in your own office. There are several levels of service: the mid-range one with 25 Web pages costs pounds 595 a month. For more information, call 0113 234 5566.

Off-the-shelf service

UK Online, the new online services provider, will be selling its Net access service off the shelf at Dixons. Rather than phoning in to subscribe to a service, you will be able to buy a box consisting of software plus entitlement to one month's Net access. The pounds 9.99 package includes e-mail and 10 hours' access. For pounds 29.99, you get 30 hours.

UK Online is a service aimed at families. It has clubs, newsgroups and the like, but "lives" on the Net, so when you buy a subscription you also get Web access. The packages will be available in 270 stores, including Currys, PC World, The Link and Dixons.

Sex, drugs and ... art

The Durex Web site has been launched at http://www.durex.com. According to the blurb, "safer surfers visiting the site will find regularly updated news, information and graphics on the benefits of condoms and safer sex. Users can see how condoms are made, participate in a fun romance quiz, and interactively learn about safer sex."

The campaign for reform of the UK cannabis laws has a site at http://www.foobar. co. uk/users/ukcia/, which "contains information on the medical, recreational and industrial uses of cannabis, and investigates its history, politics, culture, and laws in the UK and the rest of the world.

The site also exclusively features the prison diary of Sir David Steel's son, Graeme, who was recently jailed for nine months for growing cannabis plants in Scotland.

Finally, for a comprehensive listing of art galleries, see the National Arts Guide at: http: //www.national-arts-guide.co.uk/uk/home.html

How to contact us

You can e-mail the Network pages on: network@independent.co.uk

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