Cable & Wireless accelerates corporate networking drive

In its latest drive to provide more services to corporate America, Cable & Wireless USA Inc. next week will unveil IP VPN and managed firewall services, enhanced Web hosting and a symmetrical DSL service.

In its latest drive to provide more services to corporate America, Cable & Wireless USA Inc. next week will unveil IP VPN and managed firewall services, enhanced Web hosting and a symmetrical DSL service.

The new suite of services capitalize on the carrier's recent network expansions, in which Cable & Wireless is investing $670 million to upgrade its U.S. data network and $3 billion to construct networks in 70 countries.

The company, a subsidiary of Cable & Wireless PLC of London, is also in the process of building a broader set of corporate data services and increasing its visibility among U.S. corporate customers.

Cable & Wireless is emphasizing the robust security features of its IP VPN service and the Managed Firewall offering and that they offer complete solutions, including hardware, security software and data transport.

Compared to services from other leading VPN providers such as UUNet and AT&T Corp., "the differences are that our prices are one bundled price and we offer unlimited IP addresses for the one price," said Bill Liou, director of IP VPN and Managed Firewall Services at Cable & Wireless USA in Vienna, Va.

Specifically, IP VPN and Managed Firewall include software from Check Point Software Technologies and routers and CSU/DSUs from Nokia.

The two services are available in three standard packages -- aimed at small, midsize and large companies -- with access speeds beginning at 56K bps and topping out at 45M bps. They are available now in the United States and will become available globally by year's end.

In the realm of Web hosting, Cable & Wireless has enhanced its Co-location and Managed Solutions services with an expanded menu of a la carte hosting capabilities under a "building block" concept. As a group, the enhancements are designed to accommodate customers' increasingly complex requirements, said official.

Cable & Wireless's DSL service, slated to be unveiled at the Internet World show next week in New York, will provide symmetrical data transmission at rates from 160K bps to 1040K bps.

The DSL Internet Access Service will be available in 15 U.S. cities by year's end. Cable & Wireless's partners in providing DSL will be NorthPoint Communications, for local data connections, and Netopia, for subscriber equipment. Rates will vary from $188 to $900 a month, depending on speed.

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