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MCI WAN Debuts New I-VPN Service

MCI WorldCom Advanced Networks today announced the roll-out of its first Internet-based Virtual Private Networking (VPN) service, SafeReach IP.

The company said SafeReach, a fully managed, end-to-end solution, allows enterprise users to securely connect to their corporate intranet from around the world. SafeReach operates via the company's expanding Internet Protocol (IP) network, employing network-based tunneling protocol, Layer Two Forwarding (L2F), offering a secure tunnel between the user's personal computer and the corporate site.

SafeReach, an expansive IP network, allows users to connect at dial-up rates up to 56 Kbps and 128 Kbps Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). SafeReach IP is available throughout North America, Eastern and Western Europe, MCI said. In addition, other security options can be added to SafeReach IP through strong user authentication, based on Security Dynamics' ACE Server and ID tokens, and/or Check Point's Firewall-1.

MCI said the tunneling-based protocol employs the Cisco System's L2F tunneling protocol, enabling SafeReach IP to offer security back to the corporate site for mobile workers. In co-development with Cisco Systems, MCI WorldCom Advanced Networks is currently testing the engineering code for Layer Two Forwarding Protocol (L2TP), the converged standard for L2F and Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). Besides adding accessibility for remote users, L2TP is expected to provide an additional layer of security through IPSEC, which serves to encrypt the tunneled data.

"The solution Advanced Networks has delivered enables us to take advantage of the benefits of the Internet while reducing the inherent risks associated with enterprise networking over the Internet," stated David Pike, Director of Global Network Solutions, NCR Corporation.

"We are gradually migrating our growing intranet and extranet base of over 12,000 remote users to SafeReach IP from NT-Link. Although tunneled VPNs over the Internet still involve some limitations today, we are building a history and experience with SafeReach IP. We believe the viability of this solution will be enhanced once the standard for L2TP is ratified."

MCI WorldCom Advanced Networks formed in 1998 from the combined WorldCom companies of CompuServe Network Services, ANS Communications, GridNet International and the Web hosting business unit of UUNET Technologies. The company is a networking and hosting company and a subsidiary of MCI WorldCom, providing Internet, intranet and extranet connectivity solutions in 114 countries with more than 3,000 customers.