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Hayes feels need for speed

Emerging from a 17-month bankruptcy reorganization this spring, Hayes Microcomputer Products will offer 56-kbps technology in its modems and server products next year.

Emerging from a 17-month bankruptcy reorganization this spring, Hayes Microcomputer Products said today that it will offer 56-kbps technology in its modems and server products next year and migrate existing desktop and rack mount modems to 33.6 kbps by the end of the month.

At twice the speed of the 28.8-kbps modems used over standard phone lines, the jump to 56 kbps is distinct from previous speed increases because the modems will take advantage of higher-quality digital connections that corporate networks and Internet service providers already have, Hayes officials said.

The revamped products are targeted at heavy Internet users. The company's Optima and Accura desktop modems, as well as the Century rack mount modem systems, are being moved to 33.6 kbps as a better solution for full-duplex speakerphones and remote collaborative computing, according to Hayes.

Hayes, which had two profitable quarters this year, "is trying to regain market position," said Lisa Pelgrim, an analyst with market research firm Dataquest.

The historical innovator in data transmission (inventor of the AT command set) has gone through some rough waters in the last couple of years, with founder Dennis C. Hayes pulling out of a merger with competitor Boca Research and seeking protection from creditors through the U.S. bankruptcy court.

"(Dennis Hayes) won that battle" to reorganize Hayes as an independent company, Pelgrim said. "Now, it's focusing on being a leader."

The company says it will be working with Rockwell International, the International Telecommunications Union, and other modem manufacturers to ensure compatibility with other products on the market and to have a stake in the speed becoming standardized worldwide.