Bell Atlantic to Test High-Speed Home Networking
Company and Partners Use Infospeedsm DSL, HomePNA
Hardware To Build Inexpensive, High-speed Local Area
October 6, 1999
NEW YORK -- Recognizing the growing number of households with
multiple computers, Bell Atlantic will test a service that will give
consumers a high-speed local area network (LAN) in their home without
the need for costly new wiring.
About 30 Bell Atlantic.net customers with Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL
(Digital Subscriber Line) service will participate in the trial throughout the
Washington metropolitan area.
The trial will enable family members and people with home offices to
connect multiple PCs to the Internet simultaneously. After networking
hardware is installed in their computers, participants will simply plug
multiple computers into different phone jacks to network their computers
together. Participants will also be able to network other equipment such as
fax machines, printers and scanners.
"Home networking will put an end to family disputes about who can go
online when there is only one high-speed Internet connection in a
household," said Amy McIntosh, president of consumer data services for
Bell Atlantic. "Consumers will be able to enjoy the high-speed access that
our Infospeed DSL service affords, and they will be able to swap files
between PCs, enjoy multi-player games and share additional hardware."
This revolutionary application of new technologies grew from Bell
Atlantic's participation in the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance
(HomePNA). In June, Bell Atlantic became the first regional Bell
company to join HomePNA, a consortium of industry leaders committed
to establishing a universal standard for high-speed home networking using
existing copper phone lines.
Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL, which is Bell Atlantic"s brand name
for Digital Subscriber Line technology, will allow those participating in
the trial to access the Internet at speeds up to 126 times faster than that
afforded by a 56 kilobits per second (Kbps) modem. The digital high-
speed service provides an "always-on" link to the global Internet. By
taking advantage of unused capacity available in existing telephone lines,
the technology allows consumers to use a single phone line to send faxes
or make phone calls while they are surfing the Internet.
HomePNA partners Tut Systems, Lynksys, 3Com and Diamond
Multimedia will provide adapters, network interface cards (NICs) and
other networking hardware for the trial.
Tut Systems (NASDAQ: TUTS), a HomePNA founding member, is
providing HomeRun adapters that create a high-speed, always-on Ethernet
LAN over existing phone lines and every phone jack in the home. No new
wires or connections are required, and HomeRun operates concurrently
with existing telephone service at speeds 20 times faster than a dial-up
"The technology provides the bandwidth necessary for today"s home
networking applications like shared Internet access, shared peripherals and
multi-player gaming," said Sal D'Auria, president and CEO of Tut
Systems. "The combination of Tut"s HomeRun technology, the
most highly utilized home networking technology in the industry, coupled
with Bell Atlantic"s Infospeed DSL service will give customers a
very powerful and valuable high speed networked infrastructure."
Lynksys will provide a full line of HomePNA networking products
including HomeLink V.1 NICs, PCMCIA cards, USB adapters and
broadband Ethernet to phone line bridges. "These products will enhance
Bell Atlantic's complete offering of networking hardware," said
Janie Tsao, Linksys vice president of business development. "Linksys is
pleased to see that Bell Atlantic has developed a strong marketing strategy
that offers the latest and most complete line of networking hardware for
3Com Corporation, providing its new HomeConnect? home networking
product lines spanning Ethernet and phone line applications, will be
offering both solutions for Bell Atlantic's home networking trial.
To simplify network setup and use, 3Com? HomeConnect network kits
and adapters include easy-to-use Microsoft® HomeClickTM Network
Software, featuring a step-by-step setup wizard and Network Center
application. With HomeClick Network Software, complex network
configuration functions are transparent to consumers.
"Home-based applications like shared Internet access and printer sharing
will drive the home networking market, requiring robust, high-speed
technologies such as DSL," said Rich Redelfs, vice president of
3Com's Wireless and Home Connectivity Division.
Diamond Multimedia will provide industry-leading HomeFree PNA-based
home networking products.
Bell Atlantic's home networking trial is scheduled to run six to eight
weeks. Upon completion of the trial, the company hopes to expand the
technology to business customers, using 3Com's Ethernet
application, and introduce a home-networking product by the end of the
HomePNA was established in June 1998. It is an incorporated, non-profit
association of more than 100 industry-leading companies--spanning the
networking, telecommunications, hardware, software and consumer
electronics industries--working towards a single, unified, phone line
networking industry standard and rapidly bring to market a range of
interoperable home networking solutions. HomePNA technology does not
use wiring back to a central hub, such as in a corporate computer network,
and users can simultaneously access the Internet and make phone calls on
the same line.
Infospeed DSL is available in parts of the New York City, Philadelphia,
Pittsburgh, Boston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas
and in parts of New Jersey. Bell Atlantic will add more communities in
the coming months as part of its plan to make 17 million residential and
business lines DSL-capable by the end of the year throughout its service
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and nearly 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic
companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data
services, market leaders in wireless services and the world"s largest
publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also
among the world's largest investors in high-growth global
communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.