MCI broadens IP network services

MCI broadens IP network services

MCI this week said it is offering its Secure Internet Gateway users more access options and direct Internet access connectivity.

The carrier is launching its Broadband VPN Interworking service that allows users with connectivity at T-1 or below to connect with other corporate locations that are part of MCI's SIG service. MCI is also supporting direct Internet connectivity through SIG for the first time with its Secure Internet Access feature.

MCI first announced its SIG services over two years ago. In order to support its SIG offerings the carrier has deployed gateways between its traditional data, public IP and MPLS networks to provide users with one unified WAN despite disparate network connectivity at multiple sites.

These first offerings focused on allowing higher-speed (above T-1) IP VPN and legacy data users to link their networks. With Broadband VPN Interworking, MCI now is supporting lower-speed broadband connectivity, such as DSL, cable modem, or fractional T-1 frame relay or Private IP services.

MCI says companies with highly distributed workforces, such as retailers, would be ideal customers of this offering.

Broadband VPN Interworking is available now. A customer with a 10-site VPN with 384K bit/sec of DSL bandwidth at each site will pay about US$1,650 per month, or US$165 per site. That price includes access, hardware and port charges.

For the first time MCI is offering direct Internet access connectivity through SIG. Previously customers would either have to support Internet connections at each site or have a dedicated permanent virtual circuit on their frame relay network to connect directly to the Internet. With Secure Internet Access SIG, customers can support a single secure Internet connection using MCI's network-based firewall.

MCI is not charging an additional fee to access the Internet through SIG. So, users with an abundance of bandwidth will not have to pay an additional monthly fee. If additional bandwidth is needed to support additional Internet traffic, customers will pay US$310 per month for 384K bit/sec of bandwidth. Secure Internet Access is also available now.

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