Telewest responds to virus problems

High-speed customers of ISP blueyonder will have their security managed for them, after Telewest decided to offer free managed anti-malware services

UK cable company Telewest has responded to recent concerns about the high number of its blueyonder ISP customers who are infected with worms, Trojans and other nasties by unveiling PCguard — a security service aimed at protecting users connecting to the Internet.

The company was recently forced to blacklist around one million customers over fears a great many of them were unknowingly running compromised PCs which were pumping out spam.

At the time the company said security improvements were on the way and today it unveiled PCguard which will offer a firewall, a pop-up blocker, antivirus, anti-spyware, greater parental controls and automatic updates. The service is provided by Canadian managed security service provider Radialpoint.

At launch today the service is free of charge to all 850,000 blueyonder customers for an introductory period after which pricing will be implemented for some of the premium services, such as parental controls, a Telewest spokeswoman said.

"We haven't decided on pricing yet but users of our 10Mb and 4Mb service will always get it for free. Users of our 512Kbps, soon to be 2Mb, service will get elements of it for free but will have to pay for the premium services."

Existing customers will be able to download the service from the Telewest Web site and new customers will get the security components included on their installation CD.

ISPs have increasingly been called upon to take action over the security and integrity of data travelling over their networks. The spokeswoman said she believes the PCguard service will be "a huge differentiator" between Telewest and a number of its rivals.

She added that she is confident the simplicity of the managed services model, which means users can install and forget about the security services, should mean customers take up the offer.

"Users don't have to configure it themselves and that ease of use and simplicity should mean a lot of our customers go for it."

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