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Bay plans Instant Internet upgrade

More features for the popular Net access box are designed to enhance its appeal to branch offices and mom-and-pop businesses.

Bay Networks (BAY) will show off some new features for its all-in-one Instant Internet access box at next week's Comdex Spring '97 show in Atlanta.

While Bay's enterprise networking hardware business has gained much-needed focus under new CEO David House, its small-business cohorts continue to emphasize simplicity and attractive pricing to try to attract branch offices and mom-and-pop businesses.

The company's Instant Internet hardware and software continues to win accolades by offering an easy way to add Internet access without reconfiguring networks for LANs (local area networks) typically running Novell NetWare. The box now includes support for autosensing 10/100 Mbps Ethernet and for leased lines, such as a T1. The features come in addition to quick setup and use of a single Internet Protocol (IP) address for an entire network of users.

Instant Internet is intended for small and branch offices that may not have an IS staff equipped to handle an upgrade into the Internet age. "In five minutes I can make them a hero," said Jonathan Schmidt, chief technical officer for Bay's Internet-intranet CPE and applications division. "You really don't have to know anything."

Bay Networks purchased the Instant Internet technology as part of the acquisition of Performance Technologies, which was finalized about a year ago. The box comes in versions for networks of 20 or fewer users, or 100 or fewer users.

The box includes a router with advanced diagnostic features, support for a firewall that is application-independent, and a layer that integrates with directory services so that an administrator can use existing authentication techniques when implementing Internet or intranet access.

Instant Internet is available now, starting at $2,495. The ISDN version costs $2,895 and the T1 version is priced at $4,945.