For companies banking on Internet-based VPNs for the largest possible network footprint, Virtela Communications has launched asymmetric DSL and symmetric DSL access options in 75 countries via relationships with about 150 local-access providers.Service packages range widely in price, from $39.95 to $750 a month, depending on bandwidth, geography, equipment and management options.Like its global competitors Equant and Infonet, one big benefit Virtela brings to the table is that it will strike relationships with local-access providers worldwide on your behalf, giving multinationals a one-stop shopping experience. Virtela's VPN service, though, makes use of the worldwide Internet infrastructure rather than private IP networks - the benefit, of course, being a near-ubiquitous reach. Yet Virtela offers stringent end-to-end availability guarantees because of its structured, managed approach to monitoring network conditions and using diverse routes across multiple ISP backbones.DSL-based VPN services can well serve smaller sites that don't have the budgets for leased lines. DSL can also serve as a backup to a primary leased line, depending on conditions. We'll discuss some general backup considerations in our next newsletter.Meanwhile, Jeff Phillips, Virtela director of marketing, offers some pricing highlights of Virtela's new DSL services:* The $39.95 package (128K bit\/sec downstream, 64K bit\/sec upstream) and a $49.95 option (1.5M bit\/sec downstream, 384K bit\/sec upstream) are ADSL services that include Secure Sockets Layer or IPSec software-based client encryption. The lower-priced ADSL option uses dynamically provisioned IP addresses, while the other uses a static IP address.\u00a0* Starting at $150 per month, customers get SDSL services ranging in speeds from 192K to 1.5M bit\/sec with a 99.9% uptime guarantee and hardware-based IP VPN encryption.* The $750 package is limited in availability but buys a whopping 5M bit\/sec ADSL service where you can get it.