Cisco Unveils Universal Broadband Product

Networking giant Cisco
Systems Inc.
Friday unveiled a new broadband access product that will
support integrated data, voice and video.


The product caters to the desire of many cable companies wanting to expand
into the telephone market as well as offering high-speed Internet access
and television.


The uBR924 Universal Broadband Router, which was unveiled at the Consumer
Electronics Show Friday in Las Vegas, is the first standards-based cable
broadband product that will support voice-over-IP and data. It is designed
for the small office/home office, telecommuters and educational institutions.


The product is also compatible with the new ITU-J.112 standard that ensures
cable modems will function properly on all cable systems.


Cisco said the uBR924 integrates the functionality of a traditional cable
modem and a router in a cost-effective device. The product is designed to
maximize bandwidth efficiency which should allow cable companies to offer
advanced services without burdening their networks.


Paul Bosco, general manager of Cisco’s cable products and solutions group,
said the product represents a major breakthrough in functionality, security
and service quality for broadband access products.


“As part of Cisco’s end-to-end data, voice and video strategy, the uBR924
could change the way communications services are delivered to consumers.
Consumers using the uBR924 will now be able to get phone service from their
cable company, in addition to high-speed Internet access, television and
other services.”


Testing of the product will start before the end of the first quarter of
the year. The router will begin shipping by the middle of the year.


Separately, Cisco announced it would work with a coalition of 33 telephone,
cable and Internet providers that have committed to work with Cisco on
developing home networks.


It will also work with General Instrument and AT&T Corp. to help the telco offer data, voice
and video services over a new hybrid network now being deployed by AT&T and
Tele-Communications Inc.


AT&T is currently working to close its $48 billion purchase of TCI.


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