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IXC Launches Cable-Based IP Telephony Trial

Aiming assist remote employees' work output, IXC Communications, Inc. Tuesday announced plans to begin a six-month field trial of a new high-speed IP-over-cable voice and data service on May 17.

The Austin, Texas, trial will focus on reducing latency and quality of service capabilities usually associated with remote access technology. Remote office services being tested will employ virtual private networking initiatives to enable remote workers guaranteed bandwidth for advanced voice and data communications, directly to homes via cable modems.

IXC said that to facilitate this process it will incorporate its nationwide fiber optic network with Cablevision of Lake Travis's high speed cable modem service powered by Softnet's ISP Channel. IXC and ISP Channel will also integrate customer cable modems and Cisco Systems' IP telephony and router equipment.

If successful, the result could be one of the first IP voice-over-cable-modem field trials. Cablevision of Lake Travis chosen subscribers will be able to access corporate e-mail, Internet and Intranets, fax, IP telephony, and transfer data files. When the service is available commercially, remote office services is scheduled to interconnect to IXC's Gemini2000 next-generation IP backbone to provide an integrated voice and data broadband package.

"The ultimate goal of the IXC field trial is to move remote communications to the next level," said Chris Rothlis, IXC's vice president of new product development.

"By employing the hybrid/fiber coax (HFC) facilities from Cablevision of Lake Travis, managed IP access from The ISP Channel and IP telephony gear from Cisco, IXC intends to gain critical operational insights that will help determine future service offerings."

While still in the initial product planning stages, IXC said it expects to provide customized levels of service for Small Office/Home Office (SOHO), small, medium and large business customers through its reseller and direct sales channels.

"We see IP telephony services over cable as a key deployment strategy for our customers," said David Tucker, general manager of Cisco Systems enterprise voice business unit.

"IXC's trial deployment will lead to refinements in this technology that will accelerate its mass use by remote users and their companies. Leveraging IXC's technology, such as the Gemini2000 OC-48 IP network, can help us ensure high quality and availability solutions," Tucker said.



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