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3Com and Bay Networks announced a technology partnership to ensure that cable modems and other cable-related networking gear supplied by both companies work together. The two giants will test that gear via CableLabs, a cable industry group. Both companies will support the emerging Multimedia Cable Network System (MCNS) cable modem standard. That effort recently won the support of several third parties, including Cisco Systems, who pledged to build hardware to the specification. Officials from the companies said volume sales of cable modems will likely take off next year.