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WHY FAXES MAY BEGIN FLYING INTO THE NET

NETCENTRIC CORP., A SOFTware firm in Cambridge, Mass., has come up with a clever scheme for moving faxes over the Internet from PCs to other PCs and fax machines. By avoiding long-distance charges--especially regional telephone charges, which aren't discounted--companies might save as much as 75% vs. conventional faxing.

NetCentric's system depends on a set of fax servers installed all over the Net. These machines, owned and operated by Internet service providers, will be situated right next to the banks of modems that individuals dial into from their PCs. Programmed with NetCentric software, they'll be able to identify and intercept incoming faxes before they get lost in the Internet. Then they'll relay the faxes to a similar server--the one nearest to the fax's destination and, hopefully, only a local phone call away.

For now, NetCentric is running just a few of these servers itself, to prove the concept. But company officials say they're close to signing up several major Internet service companies. Meanwhile, Symantec Corp. has just adapted its popular PC faxing program, WinFax PRO, to work with the NetCentric setup.

EDITED BY JOHN W. VERITY


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Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
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