WorldCom expands global remote access capabilities

WorldCom unveiled a universal remote access tool Wednesday designed to ease secure Internet communication over any access method. WorldCom also said it will offer enhanced service level agreements to corporate customers using dial-up Internet access.

WorldCom's Access Manager launches a VPN (Virtual Private Network) client, permitting the user to encrypt data for VPN access over dial-up, cable, DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), satellite or other Internet access method, said Debbie Kaplan, a WorldCom spokeswoman. Access Manager also incorporates an intelligent phone book function to automatically determine the best number to dial for an Internet connection.

Access Manager is also integrated into WorldCom's back-end software, permitting central network managers to observe and modify the network services provisioned to users. WorldCom intends to release enhanced security features later this year, including the capability to deploy personal firewalls.

WorldCom also extended its service level agreements to include all Internet Dial Corporate customers, and will provide its Internet Dial Corporate Gold premium customers with better analytic tools.

The Clinton, Mississippi, carrier's services now extend to 84 countries, up from 34 one year ago, the spokeswoman said.

WorldCom prices its Internet Corporate Dial and Corporate Dial Gold services at a monthly flat rate varying by the size of the customer. The service includes a set number of access hours each month, with hourly charges accruing after reaching the monthly limit. Access Manager adds no additional charges. Corporate dial-up customers on the basic plan must pay extra for the dial analysis tools. WorldCom did not release specific pricing.

WorldCom's Internet Protocol VPN services range from US$400 to more than $4,750 per month, depending on the number of subscribers.

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