My Modem Can Lick Your Modem

In the battle of the speed demons, consumers are likely to win

The modem wars are here in earnest. The first big salvo came on Feb. 26 when a consortium of companies that sell 70% of the modems worldwide banded together to back a standard for the next-generation modem--one that will let computers talk to each other at a zippy 56,000 bits per second, about twice today's speed. In grandstanding fashion, the consortium, dubbed Open 56K Forum, timed its announcement to preempt the launch of U.S. Robotics Corp.'s speedy new modem.

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