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Cabletron to license high-speed equipment

The rebounding networking firm, relying on third parties to plug holes once filled by internal technology, strikes two deals to license high-speed Internet access equipment.

Rebounding networking firm Cabletron Systems struck two deals today to license high-speed Internet access equipment.

Cabletron plans to license high-speed, or "broadband," networking technology from Interspeed and start-up Sonoma Systems.

A wave of interest in high-speed connections to the Internet among consumers and businesses has led to a scramble to develop equipment among entrenched networking companies like Cisco systems as well as high-flying upstarts such as Copper Mountain Networks and Redback Networks, among others. They're all focused on facilitating both digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable-based broadband connections.

For Cabletron, the new deals continue a strategic evolution, with the firm relying on third parties to plug holes once filled by internal technology.

The move follows Cabletron's sale late last year of its FlowPoint subsidiary, which specializes in DSL-based equipment, to Efficient Networks for about $860 million. At the time, Cabletron also negotiated a licensing deal with Efficient to resell their gear.

The 18-month Interspeed High speed pipe dreams?deal is worth $12 million and calls for Cabletron to resell Interspeed's line of DSL-based routing devices. Cabletron will also resell Sonoma's line of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)-based Internet access devices. Terms of that deal were not disclosed.

"We have no intention of walking away from the DSL market. It's still a rapidly growing market," a Cabletron spokesman said.

The company said Interspeed will also serve as a Cabletron reseller.