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Cisco, GI and AT&T to Build IP Network

Cisco Systems Inc. and General Instrument Corp. Thursday said they will collaborate with AT&T Corp. in creating and testing a new Internet Protocol (IP) network.

The high-speed network will enable AT&T to offer services such as data, voice and video over the hybrid fiber-coax network currently deployed by AT&T and TCI. AT&T customers will be able to simultaneously watch television, send and receive faxes, log on to the Internet and talk on the telephone.

"Cisco's collaboration with AT&T and GI will result in a new world network that will fundamentally change the way communications services are delivered to the consumer market," said John Chambers, president and chief executive officer of Cisco Systems.

"By combining broadband Internet, phone and video services over a single cable line, we are taking a major step towards implementing future integrated data, voice and video telecommunications on a mass market scale."

The AT&T broadband network will work by integrating advanced networking and Voice-over-IP (VoIP) technologies to deliver services while streamlining operational demands. The network will function by deploying broadband packet technologies, data, voice and video services delivered through one integrated high-speed infrastructure, instead of traditional multiple parallel legacy networks.

The companies said they will conduct a market trial starting in late 1999, with the goal of providing commercial availability by next year.

The IP backbone will feature the Cisco 12000 Gigabit Switch Router (GSR), a multi-gigabit, carrier-class, IP backbone router and the Universal Broadband Router (uBR), a scalable interface between subscriber cable modems and the backbone data network. The packet telephony gateways would be based on the Cisco AS5X00, voice-over-IP gateway servers. Cisco and its cooperating partners plans to provide management, call processing and provisioning/activation solutions used in the AT&T deployment.

"The HFC IP telephony system being developed by Cisco and GI will establish the benchmark for integrated broadband service platforms, leading the way for the industry. We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Cisco and AT&T on this groundbreaking project," said Edward Breen, chairman and chief executive officer of General Instrument.