Grove casts doubt on cable modems

Tim Byars (
Sun, 2 Jun 1996 19:18:35 -0800

By Brooke Crothers
May 31, 1996, 9:15 a.m. PST

NEW YORK--Intel president and CEO
Andy Grove believes that cable modems may not
be the ticket to high-bandwidth
Internet connections to the home after all, even though
Intel has been one of strongest
promoters of the technology.

Grove's change in tune was
inspired by Intel's trial run of a cable modem system in a
Silicon Valley town that has been
"awfully difficult to implement," Grove said. Intel has
been a major proponent of cable
modems and one of the companies at the cutting edge of
this technology, and the
company's new outlook may cast a pall on what has been touted
as a promising new solution to
replace traditional PC modems in homes.

Instead of cable modems, Grove
said that XDSL, or ADSL (Asymmetric Digital
Subscriber Line), may be the way
to go. Originally developed to help telephone
companies deliver movies to the
home, XDSL uses a pair of ordinary telephone lines to
deliver T1 bandwidth of 1.5 mbps
and higher. The technology is now being adopted as a
high-bandwidth pipeline to the
home for the Internet by these companies.

"XDSL and various cousins of this
[technology] are still in the very early phases, but to a
large extent, XDSL may be the
answer," Grove said.

Cable modems have been considered
an attractive technology because they take advantage
of the existing "fat" TV cables
already installed at millions of homes in the United States
to deliver data rates many times
greater than traditional 28.8-kbps modems now standard
in many Internet connections today.


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