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MCI rolls out 56-kbps access

The company is the latest of several to offer the higher-speed access to customers.

MCI said it will offer 56-kbps Net access technology starting today, joining a laundry list of companies rolling out the product.

MCI's dial-up customers in 280 cities will be offered 56-kbps access, with the number expanding to 300 by the end of this month.

MCI will deploy the x2 technology from 3Com in its rollout. Last month, AT&T also launched x2 technology from 3Com, but it plans to extend its service to users of Rockwell and Lucent Technologies' K56flex technology by year's end.

"As more consumers use the Internet as an everyday resource, they will increasingly need greater access speeds," said David Trachtenberg, director of MCI Internet.

Last month alone, America Online, Microsoft Network, UUNet Technologies, and AT&T either rolled out or expanded their 56-kbps products.

x2 modems compete with K56flex technology developed by Rockwell and Lucent Technologies. x2 initially was developed by U.S. Robotics, but the company since has been acquired by 3Com.