3Com's cable modem product awaits market

Despite local uncertainity about the market for data over cable services, 3Com this week announced availability of a cable access system for Internet access.

Based on the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS), 3Com's cable access system includes a Total Control Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS), network management software for the headend and the US Robotics Cable Modem CMX for consumers, officials said.

Scheduled for deployment in countries including Argentina, the US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Taiwan, David Elliot, 3Com's business development manager, cable access, Asia Pacific rim, said local availability of the product is in anticipation of a decision by Telstra or Optus to provide cable modem access services.

Elliott said both Telstra and Optus are believed to be examining cable modem but have not come to any decision.

According to Optus officials, a trial has been underway in 200 homes and schools in Melbourne and Sydney and has "delivered all the technical answers required".

"[Optus] is currently looking firstly looking at a number of suppliers and strategic relationships in relation to the delivery of Internet access," officials said.

"[Cable modem] is definitely towards the top of our list but [we're] not in a position where [we] want to reveal when we might be bringing it to market."

Telstra was unavailable for comment at deadline.