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  1. Technology
January 26, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

As expected (CI No 3,330), Compaq Computer Corp, Intel Corp and Microsoft Corp have formed the so-called Universal Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) Working Group, aimed to accelerate the adoption and availability of high-speed digital internet access for the mass market. The idea, as outlined last week, is to propose a simplified version of ADSL which will deliver to consumers high-speed modem communications over existing (copper) phone lines based on an open, interoperable International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standard. The Group claims that by reducing the complexity of the on-site installation and eliminating the need for new wiring at the user’s home, Universal ADSL will make it possible to increase bandwidth for the consumer up to 25 times the speed of the current highest-speed analog modem technology. Universal ADSL will also be compatible with and complementary to current higher speed full-rate ADSL) deployments by telecommunications companies, the Group claims. Apart from the three giants, telecoms companies Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, GTE, SBC Communications, Sprint and US West are represented, as well as a host of others including 3Com and Cisco, Aware, Lucent Technologies, MCI, Siemens, and Texas Instruments. An open, interoperable specification for consideration by the ITU is expected to be submitted this year. This represents a major evolution of the Internet to become an essential source of consumer information, entertainment and commerce, claims John Cahill, Executive Director at BellSouth and Co-Chair of the UAWG. New modems supporting the protocol are expected in consumer/small business PCs within two years.

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