Networking briefs

Cisco bolsters DSL with two buy-outs

Cisco Systems last month reinforced its digital subscriber line (DSL) and multimedia product offerings with the acquisition of two companies. Cisco agreed to acquire DSL innovator NetSpeed for $US236 million and multimedia software developer Precept Software for $US84 million.

The acquisitions indicate Cisco's intention of taking a leadership role in the burgeoning markets of high-speed Internet access and voice, data and video integration.

Gigabit standard delayed

Early adopters of Gigabit Ethernet technology shouldn't fret over a delay in the IEEE Gigabit Ethernet standard, according to vendors and analysts. The IEEE's 802.3z Gigabit Ethernet Task Force originally expected to ratify a standard in March.

ISPs may fall behind users in switch to V.90Some major 56Kbps modem vendors are promising free upgrades to the V.90 international standard later this quarter. But if you own a K56flex modem based on Rockwell Semiconductor's chips, think twice before downloading and installing a V.90 patch to the firmware.

A Rockwell representative confirmed that current Rockwell-based client-side modems don't have enough flash memory to store V.90 and K56flex firmware at the same time -- what modem vendors call "dual mode". If you upgrade to V.90 before your ISP does, you could find yourself back in the world of V.34, connecting at 28.8 Kbps.

Cabletron launches E-Commerce Web site

Cabletron Systems has opened a World Wide Web site for e-commerce to allow customers and partners to check prices and configure and buy networking equipment online. The company is calling its site CabletronCommerce (

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