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Faxes over Net--without computers

A Dallas company is working on a fax service that won't even require a PC.

A Dallas-based company is working on a new fax service that saves money on long distance bills and won't require subscribers to have an Internet connection or even a computer.

The Interfax LP service lets users dial on their fax machines to a local Interfax provider, which then forwards their faxes over the Net anywhere in the world. While users will have to pay the local provider for the connection, they won't have to pay long-distance or international telephone charges as they do now.

So far, the service is available only in Japan and the United Kingdom. But the company says it is adding Mexico soon and expects to have partners in a dozen North American, European, Pacific Rim, and Middle-Eastern countries by this fall. The company expects to start service in the United States in the next year.

If Interfax doesn't hurry, however, it may be outdistanced by a number of Net-based fax services that also promise to cut long distance costs. Just last week, NetCentric and Internet service provider Concentric Network teamed up to offer a Net-based service that allows users to send faxes from their desktops to any destination in the world for as little as 2 cents per minute, according to NetCentric.

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