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LONDON, 5 September 2001 -- XO Communications, one of the world’s fastest growing broadband communications services providers, is offering UK customers virtual private network (VPN) solutions based on the latest Firebox Internet security appliances from Watchguard.

Powerful data encryption and user authentication that form secure tunnels for a VPN link can impact on the speed and ease of the connection, especially when the VPN extends to more and more users. With the Watchguard Firebox III range, XO is able to offer its customers even faster and more resilient throughput, as well as more concurrent sessions to allow more remote workers to access hosted information and applications simultaneously.

The new Firebox III range has integrated new VPN technology to achieve large improvements in speed. The top of the range 4500 model, for example, features SafeNet's CryptPCI 241 hardware accelerator card and delivers speeds of up to 100 mbps VPN/3DES throughput.
The underlying performance of the firewall has also been improved fivefold thanks to a faster processor and upgraded software.

The Firebox III range consists of three models covering a wide range of companies from SMEs up to large corporates with widely distributed enterprises who have a requirement for multiple VPNs with the facility to manage them effectively.

XO is the first and currently only UK service provider to be accredited to develop and support Watchguard-based VPN solutions. In addition to services to scope, design and implement solutions, XO provides managed security services through its manned Security Operations Centre in central London.

Grant Farquhar, business manager, security, XO Communications said: “As VPNs become mission-critical, users expect both security and performance to be joint priorities. In our evaluation the Watchguard Firebox III range helps square the circle and gives us a powerful component in tailoring VPNs that can handle huge increases in user activity or enable wider distribution of application services”.

XO Communications provides broadband Internet services to business customers in the UK and the Netherlands. The company offers industrial-strength connectivity and hosting services and solutions including virtual private networks, security, e-commerce and application infrastructure provision. XO operates one of the UK’s most advanced and widely dispersed networks, enabling high bandwidth access at resilient multi-megabit rates in more locations nationwide.

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About XO Communications

XO Communications is one of the world’s leading providers of broadband communications services offering local and long distance voice communication services, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) access, Web hosting and e-commerce service, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), dedicated access, global transit and application infrastructure services for delivering applications over the Internet or a VPN. XO has assembled an unrivaled set of facilities-based broadband networks and Tier One Internet peering relationships throughout the United States. XO currently offers facilities-based broadband communications services in 62 markets throughout the United States. The Company is also one of North America’s largest holders of fixed broadband wireless spectrum, with licenses covering 95 percent of the population of the 30 largest U.S. cities and a partnership with licenses covering all of the top cities in Canada.


For further information contact:

Sara Campbell/Crawford Warnock
GBC
Tel: 020 8322 1922
Sarac@gbc.co.uk / crawfordw@gbc.co.uk


Daniel Couzens
XO Communications
Tel: 020 8957 5711
Daniel.couzens@uk.xo.com






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