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Netcom's newest protects, patches

The company's latest Internet service package features virus protection and software patches.

Netcom Online Communication Services (NETC) today rolled out an Internet service package featuring virus protection and software patches.

NetComplete Advantage Pro includes Netcom Computer Care Center, a Norton Anti-Virus package, through an agreement with Symantec. The Symantec partnership also provides users with automatic software updates, software patches, and hardware device drivers.

The service bundle also allows users to enroll in Netcom's Premium Support Service Program, which includes toll-free person-to-person technical support and access to Netcom's fax-on-demand. Customers also can enroll in the Netcom Research Library, which provides access to newspaper and magazine articles, book chapters, scripts, and other media archives for conducting research on the Internet.

The service package will cost $29.95 per month, with an activation fee for non-Netcom customers of $25. It is available to customers using Windows 95.

Today's release follows the debut of the company's new Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) service targeted at home-office professionals, teleworkers, and small businesses that require reliable connections to the Internet.

Netcom will provide the ISDN option to its Netcomplete Advantage, Netcomplete Advantage Pro, and Identity Pack customers through more than 60 points of presence across the United States.

Earlier this month, Netcom announced that it plans to merge with ICG Communications (ICGX), a local telephone company.

The merger is expected to close in the first quarter of 1998, pending approval by stockholders of both companies and regulatory entities.