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Northern Telecom Ltd and communications semiconductor manufacturer Rockwell Semiconductor Corp have teamed up to co- develop their broadband consumer networking technologies, systems to offer internet access at a claimed 17 times faster than fast analog modems. Rockwell has already announced its Consumer Digital Subscriber Line initiative (CI No 3,279), and Nortel has technology of its own called Consumer Digital Modem. Both use existing phone copper wire and offer data transfer rates of around one Mbps. The two are pairing to co-develop systems for launch by mid 1998. Nortel claims that the technology is superior to the competition, in the shape of ADSL and cable modems as it does not require consumer line splitter equipment, or splitter installation of existing central office equipment. Rockwell is to market the CDSL modems through its normal modem channels, and Nortel will integrate CDSL into its central office switches, and sell upgrade hardware onto telcos. The two are planning to find further partners and get the technology standardized . Whether the Nortel/Rockwell effort succeeds, is somewhat dependent on the success of current ADSL trials, as ADSL is also set for commercial delivery in mid 1998.

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