GTE expands the worldwide reach of its enhanced Virtual Private Network service and receives U.S. government approval for security encryption export, eliminating data transport hurdles for corporations

BURLINGTON, Mass. - GTE Internetworking, a division of GTE Corporation, has increased the global reach of its managed virtual private network (VPN) service, announcing today that the company can now deploy and host VPNs to any commercial entity around the world. GTE's VPN footprint expansion eliminates technical obstacles that have prohibited corporations from conducting business across international boundaries in the past. The new service, called VPN Advantage Version 1.1, is available immediately.

Significant technical enhancements to VPN Advantage 1.1 include, an Authenticated Web Server (AWS) that allows IT managers unlimited and secure access into their company VPN, and a client deployment software program, the "VPN Advantage Prep Tool," that saves IT managers time and resources in deploying large numbers of VPN clients.

GTE's new VPN service also offers shared network management, which allows corporations to control certain functions of the VPN network, such as security and/or traffic handling while outsourcing management of all remaining VPN functionality to GTE. Additionally, VPN Advantage is Y2K-warranted and combines strong encryption (triple DES) with the industry's most extensive proactive service level agreements (SLAs), digital certificates and implementation of the IPsec security standard.

"GTE Internetworking's international deployment strategy for its VPN service underscores our mission to offer outsourced IP-based Internet services on a global level. With this latest offering of VPN Advantage, GTE Internetworking offers customers that are expanding their businesses globally with a reliable infrastructure, consistent security and management, and the highest levels of guaranteed service throughout the world," said Robert McKinney, director of VPN and Managed Security, GTE Internetworking.


With its recent Encryption Licensing Arrangement (ELA) approval by the U.S. Commerce Department, VPN Advantage expands GTE's export capability from 39 to more than 230 countries, providing the highest level of guaranteed VPN service and security throughout the world. GTE is one of the only leading service providers that the U.S. government has allowed to ship triple-DES encryption technology overseas.

Authenticated Web Server (AWS)

VPN Advantage's Authenticated Web Server (AWS) is a new Web-based interface between the customer's network administrator, and GTE Internetworking operations personnel that provides detailed information about their VPN. It gives IT managers a view into the health of their VPN as well as the ability to perform certain VPN administrative duties such as managing client user accounts and downloading software updates and configuration updates. A digital certificate is required to ensure authorized access to the AWS. From the AWS, IT managers can generate reports, add new users, search the database for existing users, and modify remote user profiles one at a time, or administer several users at once. GTE has worked very closely with VPN gateway vendors to develop SNMP extensions, allowing IPsec-specific VPN information to be extracted and shared with IT managers, resulting in new detailed performance and usage reports.

GTE has included the AWS in a proposal for IPsec management to the IETF. The AWS makes use of a pre-standard implementation in order to expand the information available to IT managers so they can make better business decisions and develop appropriate security policies

VPN Advantage Prep Tool

The VPN Advantage Prep Tool is a software program that assists IT managers in the deployment of VPN client software to large numbers of end users. With the Prep Tool, IT managers can remotely upgrade all PC's in the network so they are capable of running VPN clients. They can also deploy the new VPN client software without putting additional strain on the IT staff's time and resources.

Secure, Global 24 X 7 Management and Monitoring

VPN Advantage manages and monitors for performance, reliability and security 24 hours a day, seven days a week at GTEI's state-of-the-art Network Operations Center (NOC). GTE's NOC VPN gateway establishes secure management tunnels from the NOC to the customers' VPN gateway to manage and monitor customer VPNs. Because of the secure design of the management tunnel, IT managers can be assured that the GTEI NOC personnel cannot see into the customers VPN tunnels or into the customer LAN. Similarly, the VPN Advantage customer does not have any access into GTEI's management tunnel, so IT managers need not worry about management traffic being accessed by unauthorized personnel or unauthorized changes being made to the VPN gateway configuration.

VPN Advantage is built on one of the largest IP backbones in the world, providing remote access from over 750 U.S. points of presence. In addition, GTE Internetworking provides over 3,000 international local access points in over 150 countries, and dedicated access from 65 countries.

World Class Security

VPN Advantage delivers the most complete implementations of IPsec available including device and user authentication via X.509 digital certificates from Entrust. The service also employs triple DES data encryption, and the latest tunneling techniques. Leveraging GTE's position as the only Internet service provider that is also a certification authority, VPN Advantage is the only managed VPN service to include digital certificates as part of its core offering. In addition, GTE selected best-of-breed VPN components from TimeStep Corporation that have been certified by the International Computer Security Association (ICSA) to help ensure interoperability, scalability and reliability.

Y2K and Service Level Agreements

In addition to the new enhancements, VPN Advantage is Y2K-warranted and provides customers with the most aggressive guaranteed levels of performance and reliability that are detailed in comprehensive service level agreements (SLAs) with proactive billing credits. Dedicated access VPNs include guaranteed availability as high as 99.9 percent, covering the VPN device, connectivity on the GTE backbone, local loop and the customer premises router - the most wide-reaching agreement available. The SLAs for remote-access VPNs guarantee busy-free dial availability of 97 percent, and minimum modem connect speeds of 26.4kbps, 99 percent of the time. In all cases, GTE proactively manages these service levels, automatically crediting a customer's next bill if targets are not met.

About GTE Internetworking and GTE Corporation

GTE Internetworking, a unit of GTE Corporation (NYSE:GTE), offers customers, from consumers to Fortune 500 companies, a full spectrum of integrated Internet services using IP networking technologies. GTE Internetworking delivers complete network solutions, including dial-up and dedicated Internet access, high-performance Web hosting, virtual private networks (VPNs), managed Internet security, network management, systems integration, and Web-based application development for integrating the Internet into business operations. GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated voice, video and data services. Additional information about GTE Internetworking can be found on the Internet at http://www.bbn.com>, and about GTE Corp. at http://www.gte.com.

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