PC, Telecom, & Networking Industry Leaders Unite to Deliver Ultra-Fast Internet Access to the Home

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PC, Telecom, & Networking Industry Leaders Unite to Deliver Ultra-Fast Internet Access to the Home

January 26, 1998

Media contacts:

Ian Bain
Lois Paul & Partners

Compaq, Intel and Microsoft Join with Ameritech, Bell Atlantic,
BellSouth, GTE,SBC Communications, Sprint and U S WEST with current
support from 3Com Corporation, Alcatel, Analog Devices, Ariel
Corporation, Aware, Cisco Systems, Copper Mountain Networks, Covad
Communications, DSC Communications, Ericsson, Globespan Semiconductor,
Lucent Technologies, MCI, NetSpeed, Nortel (Northern Telecom),
Paradyne, Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, Siemens, TexasInstruments
Tut Systems, Inc. and Westell Technologies to Accelerate Mass
Deployment of 'Universal' ADSL Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The leading companies in the
personal computer, telecommunications, and networking industries today
announced the "Universal" Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
Working Group aimed at accelerating the adoption and availability of
high-speed digital Internet access for the mass market. The goal of
the Universal ADSL Working Group is to propose a simplified version of
ADSL which will deliver to consumers high-speed modem communications
over existing phone lines based on an open, interoperable
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standard.

By reducing the complexity of the on-site installation and eliminating
the need for new wiring at the user's home, Universal ADSL will make
it possible to more cost-effectively increase bandwidth for the
consumer up to 25 times the speed of the current highest-speed analog
modem technology. With the ability to deliver "always-on" Internet
access at higher speeds, ADSL dramatically improves consumers'
Internet experience, allowing content developers to enhance their web
sites with more natural media-rich technologies such as CD-quality
audio and high-quality video. Universal ADSL will also be compatible
with and complimentary to current higher speed (full-rate ADSL)
deployments by telecommunications companies.

The Universal ADSL Working Group (UAWG) is led by PC industry leaders
Compaq, Intel and Microsoft, and telecommunications leaders Ameritech,
Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, GTE, SBC Communications, Sprint and U S
WEST, and supported to date by 3Com Corporation, Alcatel, Analog
Devices, Ariel Corporation, Aware, Cisco Systems, Copper Mountain
Networks, Covad Communications, DSC Communications, Ericsson,
Globespan Semiconductor, Lucent Technologies, MCI, Netspeed, Nortel
(Northern Telecom), Paradyne, Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, Siemens,
Texas Instruments and Westell Technologies. Other participants are
encouraged to support the working group. The UAWG will work to
deliver an open, interoperable specification for consideration by the
ITU in 1998 for worldwide deployment. Full-rate ADSL rollouts are
already underway by several service providers, with the expectation
that the Universal version will enable wider expansion within the
consumer market.

"With PC, networking, and telecommunications industry leaders joining
together, we have a powerful alliance to propose to the ITU a
broad-based specification for high-speed network access," said John
Cahill, Executive Director at BellSouth and Co-Chair of the UAWG.
"This represents a major evolution of the Internet to become an
essential source of consumer information, entertainment and commerce."

"Universal ADSL's interoperability will help service providers in
addressing consumer data services markets," said Beth Gage, senior
broadband consultant at TeleChoice. "We expect PC companies to begin
packaging these new modems in consumer and small business PCs over the
next two years."

About Universal ADSL
The goal of the Universal ADSL specification work is to contribute an
interoperable extension of the ANSI standard T1.413 ADSL, which will
be proposed through the ITU standardization process to gain global
acceptance and leverage current deployment of T1.413-based equipment
by telecommunications carriers around the world. The UAWG will work
to drive the interoperability of devices by sharing the working
group's contributions widely and act as a forum for resolving
intellectual property issues. There are several advantages to
Universal ADSL, including:

Universal, Single Standard: If adopted by the ITU, this common
specification supported by the personal computer, networking, and
telecommunications industries will enable more rapid nationwide and
global deployment of high-speed Internet access. In addition, the
integration of the technology to cost-effective silicon devices is
expected, thereby reducing costs of Universal ADSL equipment. Once
approved, the rapid deployment of a single standard will increase the
installed base of consumers accessing this service, thereby lowering
costs of high-speed Internet products.

Simple Plug and Play: Universal ADSL will significantly reduce
additional device requirements to be installed outside the home and
helps to eliminate the need for special installation services or for
additional wiring inside the home. This effort will enable PC vendors
to integrate this technology in the future. In addition, simplified
software setup of Universal ADSL communications will be included in
future versions of Microsoft Windows. This results in ensuring simple
plug and play access for consumers to high-speed communication

Performance: Universal ADSL technology delivers high-speed PC-based
communications over standard telephone lines at speeds up to 25 times
faster than today's fastest analog modems.

"Always On": A significant benefit of ADSL is that it is "always on,"
allowing continuous usage. Consumers can now avoid time-consuming
connection procedures and busy signals and benefit from new services
available from an "always on" connection. With "always on"
connectivity the Internet can become an integral part of a consumer's
daily life and facilitate an enriched Web lifestyle.

About the Universal ADSL Working Group
The Universal ADSL Working Group (UAWG), composed of leading PC
industry, networking, and telecommunications companies, will develop a
set of contributions building on the present T1.413 standard intended
to create quick deployment and adoption of Universal ADSL. With the
goal of providing consumers with assurance that products and services
will work together, the UAWG's work will compliment currently planned
equipment deployment for full-rate ADSL and help to provide a seamless
migration path from today's modems. In addition the group aims to
maximize the economy, speed, and efficiency of both full-rate and
Universal ADSL deployments. The group will deliver a series of
contributions to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
G.Lite subcommittee in early 1998, and it will issue a developer's
guide that will set a clear design target for technology vendors. The
group foresees Universal ADSL modems being a preferred PC modem
technology by the year 2000.

More information on the Universal ADSL Working Group is available on
the group's Web site at http://www.uawg.org.

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