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March 22, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

A full spectrum of standard Open System Interconnection protocols became available for the first time last week when the International Standards Organisation finally gave the thumbs up to two application-layer services for the seven layer Open Systems model. The services agreed were File Transfer Access and Management and the X400 electronic messaging service. Versions of FTAM and X400 existed previously but not to international standard and until last week, manufacturers were unable to base their products on a stable set of application protocols. Two further standards, Job Transfer and Manipulation, and Virtual Terminal Application Services are expected to be ratified by the end of the year. Meanwhile the US IEEE has dealt a blow to DEC and 3Com Corp in the battle over a standard for running Ethernet over cheap wiring. A debate has been raging for months on whether twisted pair or what is known as ThinWire should be the basis for the standard, with DEC and 3Com uniting on proposals for the latter. But they were forced to withdraw their proposals in the face of massive support for the twisted pair option from players including AT&T Co, Hewlett-Packard Co and Ungermann-Bass Inc. DEC has said that it will continue to supply customers with its own standard until the twisted pair or 10Base2 standard is finalised.

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