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A preliminary specification for a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) modem standard is due to be released by the end of the week. According to Intel Architecture Labs senior product manager Holland Wood, quoted on the C/Net newswire, there's "cautious optimisim" the standard will be determined in talks at the ITU this week. Intel is participating in the negotiations. The would-be standard is designed to cover the G.lite category of DSL modems. G.lite modems connect to the PC just like an analog device and allow users to initiate voice and data connections simultaneously without the need for extra hardware at the phone socket. DSL modems offer connection speeds of 1.5Mbps -- way ahead of today's analog modems and ISDN connections. If this weeks talks prove successful, a final DSL standard could be ratified by next June. According to Wood, modem manufacturers will see such an early ratification as proof the standard's validity and could begin developing products safe in the knowledge that they won't be exposed to the sort of standards war seen in the development of the 56kbps modem. ® Click for more stories

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