Clear Net announces extranet service for business customers

Clear Net made its own pitch for the business market yesterday, with the announcement of Clear Net Connect - which gives organisations the ability to dial into their own private LAN using Clear Net's Internet network. The 'extranet' service, which uses tunnelling to offer both small and large business customers a virtual private network (VPN) over the Internet, has actually been running since early this month with 10 customers. The ISP claims it can save up to 60% off the cost of setting up a fixed network.

Clear Net has launched its first business service - Clear Net Connect - which gives organisations the ability to dial into their own private LAN using Clear Net’s Internet network.

Clear Net Connect uses tunnelling to offer small to large business customers a virtual private network over the Internet or what is more trendily known as an extranet.

The service which launched in early October now has around 10 customers. Clear Net claims that going the extranet/VPN route can be up to 60% cheaper than setting up a fixed network.

A Clear Net Connect customer can offer access to its customers and suppliers on a dial-up basis, as well as its own travelling sales force.

Authentication is carried out on a Radius server when users dial into the Clear Net’s network - before they access the company extranet. The service provides access from anywhere in the country using Clear Net’s local POPs (point of presence) with 0800 access for remote areas.

Clear Net Connect also provides flexible billing options. The user can pay for connection and web surfing so the company pays only the initial set up costs. Or the company can pay the user’s charges for connection to the LAN while the user pays their own Internet surfing costs - or any combination of

The service is based on ATMP (Ascend tunnelling management protocol) and will be upgraded to L2TP (Layer 2 tunnelling protocol) once the standard is ratified by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

One off charges include the cost of the frame relay connection to the company’s head office is $1000; the establishment fee for Clear Net Connect $750; and a $31 connection fee. There is a fixed monthly charge of $1000 for a 64Kb/s line.

Clear Net Connect access charges are (per hour, excluding GST) : Analogue - Peak $3.85; Off Peak $3.40; Night $3.20; 0800 $6.49. ISDN - Peak, Off-Peak and Night $7.90; 0800 $14.49.

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