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RCN Corp. is tapping into the notion of portability by offering a dial-up companion service to its high-speed Internet access customers.

For an additional $9.95 a month, RCN and Starpower cable modem customers will have local access to the Net in 42 states when they are away from home.

The dial-up service offers more than 750 access numbers nationwide and remote access to RCN e-mail via RCN Webmail. Subscribers also receive two more e-mail accounts and 10 MB of additional Web server space.

RCN views the dial-up option as a way to provide more value to its customers. In May, the overbuilder launched a bundled service offering, dubbed "Essentials," to attract more subscribers. The Essentials package consists of RCN's basic video package and one set-top, one phone-line with unlimited local calling and high-speed data service with the cable modem included. Last month, the company added an international flare to its bundled service package.

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