Three years after the launch of the AT&T 6500 Multifunction Communications System IBM 3270-type cluster controller in to the American market (CI No 313), AT&T has announced its first efforts to sell the system in the UK, through London-based IBM small system specialists Rental Research Ltd. The 6500 represents AT&T’s attempts to move into the IBM 3270 market; although comparable in price to the 3174, AT&T claims the 6500 offers greater configurability than the IBM machine, with a series of plug-in expansion modules for up to 32 synchonous and 32 asynchronous ports – allowing additional multi-vendor connectivity from the 3270 to AT&T 3B, DEC VAX, Hewlett HP 3000 and other minicomputers, as well as SNA/SDLC and X25 connections to the host machine. Simultaneous access to up to four hosts is provided via AT&T dedicated displays or via MS-DOS micros with an add-on adapator. Rental Research founder John Knight said the company expected sales of $1.5m over the first year of the agreement, and is focusing on high value installations: the company’s current customers included Chase Manhattan and Reuters. Field maintenance will be handled by an undisclosed third party maintenance company. AT&T said it had not yet set arrangements for the continental market.