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Cut-rate DSL on the way?

Jan 27, 20033 mins

Comnet 2003: Celite Systems to debut DSL gear, Foundry to announce switches; Adtran to roll out routers.

While much of this week’s ComNet Conference & Expo will focus on products and services aimed directly at corporate networks, a company looking to help carriers slash the cost of delivering broadband services by about 75% will make one of the more intriguing introductions.

Celite Systems, an 18-month-old start-up with $16 million in funding, will debut gear that lets phone carriers preprovision broadband Internet access for entire neighborhoods, only requiring customers who want service to then buy and plug in a Celite modem.

The company says it can cut the per-customer deployment cost from $275 for DSL to as low as $69 in areas where 40% of customers sign up for the service – savings providers could pass on to customers.

Designed to deliver DSL-like services over regular phone lines, Celite’s gear employs multicast Ethernet over a proprietary technology called VDSL+ to reach customer sites. Because hundreds of subscribers can share the bandwidth, the actual bandwidth each gets varies. But on average, it should rival the 386K bit/sec DSL residential service carriers offer now and shared-bandwidth cable-modem services, says Roger Dorf, CEO and president.

Also at the show, Foundry Networks will announce a dual-port 10G Ethernet blade and entry-level Layer 2 workgroup switches.

The module fits in Foundry’s FastIron, BigIron and NetIron switches, and the two ports can be logically bundled to create a 20G bit/sec pipe. The module also can be fitted with two different optical transceivers, one with a reach up to about 12.5 miles, the other to around 25 miles. Both transceivers support single-mode fiber, Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching, and Foundry’s Metro Ring Protocol for fiber-ring topologies. The ring option would be an alternative to SONET.

The blade costs $100,000 to $140,000 depending on the range it supports.

The company also is announcing its EdgeIron 240CF and 480CF wiring closet switches, which have 24 and 48 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet ports, respectively. These devices include two Gigabit Ethernet ports for copper uplinks and two mini-Gigabit Interface Converter ports for fiber uplinks.

Both boxes support the mapping of type of service and Differentiated Services priority tags to 802.1p traffic prioritization tags to preserve quality of service between Layer 3 and Layer 2.

The 2402CF costs $2,200 and the 480CF costs $4,200.

Adtran will introduce another in its line of low-cost routers that it pits directly against Cisco gear. The NetVanta 3305 access router enables businesses to support larger central sites than its earlier 3200 and 3205 boxes, which each supported only one T-1 line.

The 3305 is designed to compete against the Cisco 1700 routers and lower-end 2600 routers, and even comes with a Cisco-like command-line interface.

The chassis costs $1,300 and has two slots that can hold T-1, V.35, and dial cards that range in price from $250 to $400.