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Cisco, Corning Announce Fiber Optics Alliance

Cisco Systems, Inc., is joining forces with Corning Inc., to provide data carriers with pre-engineered optical network solutions, it was announced Tuesday.

The non-exclusive strategic alliance brings the Cisco product line of optical switches and amplifiers to Corning's popular LEAF optical fiber lines.

Mike Volpi, Cisco senior vice president and chief strategy officer, said the agreement is a good fit for both companies.

"Optical networking is revolutionizing the Internet and creating unprecedented opportunities that benefit the Internet ecosystem," Volpi said. "Corning's expertise in optical fiber and photonic products, coupled with Cisco's expertise in building IP-based networks is a powerful combination that will enable service providers to deliver rich new services."

The deal is the second big announcement in two days for the fiber optic company. Drs. Donald Keck, Robert Maurer and Peter Schultz were awarded the 2000 National Medal of Technology, for their invention of the low-loss optical fiber. The breakthrough was made when the three were employees at Corning in the '70s.

The medal is awarded yearly to innovators who make contributions that significantly impact commerce and advance the American standard of living.

In separate news, Cisco announced Monday its plans to purchase Australian wireless chipset maker Radiata, Inc., for $295 million in stock. Cisco, which already had a 11 percent ownership stake in the company, said it plans to boost the data speeds of its current and future wireless networks products using the chipsets from its latest acquisition.

The deal marks the possible start of a Cisco spending spree in the Asia-Pacific rim region.

Richard Freemantle, Cisco vice president of Asia-Pacifica operations, said the company is always looking to acquire good equipment companies to bolster its product offerings.

"We are looking all the time, we are restless always," Freemantle said.



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