In a move that sees the company turn to one of its major rivals for a key technology, Bay Networks Inc has signed with 3Com Corp’s US Robotics unit to enable it to include its x2 56Kbps modem technology in Bay’s 5000 Multi-Service Access Switch (MSX) line. Bay says it was negotiating with USR about the technology before the 3Com acquisition was muted but that the subsequent deal did not change the company’s desire to offer the technology. Bay is the only company aside from USR that has put x2 at the head end, but with USRs position in the consumer market it was clear we had to support it, said Jonathan Sieg, vice president and general manager at Bay’s signal processing group. Bay maintains that taking the technology from 3Com is part of the its recently announced Adaptive Networking strategy that will result in developing open networking industry standards based around IP networks. The deal with USR will see the company offering its x2 technology on its access switch line by September, says Bay. In March, Bay announced that a 56Kbps software upgrade would be available for the 5399 in July, however that was for the rival K56flex technology developed by the rival Lucent Technologies Inc/ Rockwell International Corp K alliance. According to Sieg, that date has now slipped but the K56flex technology will be still be made available and that the two flavors of 56Kbps will be able to run on the same chassis but not share ports. The date for offering K56flex has slipped to sometime in the third quarter – after the x2 upgrade will be ready. Since that announcement both standards have evolved but the USR was a quicker and more solid integration, said Sieg. According to Bay, it has integrated x2 with its Digital Signal Processing (DSP) modem technology and free x2 software downloads for its 5399 Remote Access Concentrator Module for the 5000 MSX platform will be available in September. In addition, 3Com will provide technical specifications and support to Bay Networks. The two companies also say they will participate in x2 interoperability testing. Both K56flex and x2 enable users to download data at speeds up to 56 Kbps.