In Brief – Allstream announces plans to offer LAN and VoIP service

TORONTO — Allstream Corp. is offering local-area networking (LAN) management service to mid-sized and large organizations, and also plans to announce end-to-end voice over IP (VoIP) services.

The Toronto-based telecom service provider announced its managed LAN service, which includes network

assessment, fault monitoring, performance reports and security monitoring.

Soon the carrier will announce converged voice and data services, whereby it will integrate Internet Protocol (IP) telephony equipment, said Jeff Crews, Allstream’s vice-president of infrastructure.

Crews said Allstream’s managed LAN offering includes a network assessment service, which is valuable to telecom managers who want to determine whether their IT network will support both voice and data.

Roberta Fox, president and senior partner of Markham, Ont.-based Fox Group Consulting, said Allstream’s service could be a “”nice first step”” for IT staff who want to figure out whether their organization’s networks are ready for voice.

—Greg Meckbach

Internet service providers should protect users: survey

TORONTO — More than half of Canadians polled on behalf of AOL Canada believe ISPs should take a leading role in protecting them from spyware, software programs that collect information about Internet users and advise spammers about the sites they visit.

AOL Canada Inc. has labelled 2004 the year of the invisible threat because last year people were focused “”on things that were much more visible to users and showed up in the press a lot more — you know, viruses that take over your machine or cause your machine to crash or spam that was clogging people’s mailboxes,”” said Alex Leslie, vice-president of technology at Toronto-based AOL Canada.

“”What we think has happened though is that (users have been blind to) this lurking threat posed by spyware that’s sitting on people’s machines.””

Fifty-three per cent of respondents said spyware was the responsibility of ISPs, whereas 31 per cent said the onus was on users and 12 per cent wanted the government to get involved. The other four per cent didn’t know what spyware is.

— Fawzia Sheikh

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