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Netcom Online Communications Services said it has expanded its base of paying customers, posting a 17-percent jump in subscriptions for the quarter ended September 30. The San Jose, California-based Internet service provider said it added 83,000 new accounts, bringing its client count to more than half a million worldwide. The jump bests the company's performance in the same quarter last year, when it added 64,000 new members. Netcom attributed the acceleration in part to its efforts to entice small and medium-sized businesses to get wired.