Local telecommunications carrier Qwest Communications International signed a series of multiyear deals with several companies to provide VPN (virtual private network) services, the company announced Wednesday. Companies receiving the include Petco Animal Supplies, RBC Dain Rauscher and Alliance Gaming. VPN uses encryption technology to securely connect two private networks over the Internet through public phone lines. The technology is more secure than a dial-up connection and cheaper than buying a dedicated communications line.
Selling such services represents new markets for telecom companies, which are trying to get away from the business of just supplying bandwidth at a flat fee and move into the realm of charging different rates for differentcombinations.