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Sprint to launch 56-kbps access

The company, which is very late entering the higher-speed dial-up market, will roll out 56-kbps access in 30 cities by March.

Sprint Internet will announce next Wednesday that it is finally offering customers 56-kbps Net access.

Sprint will use 3Com's x2 technology, but plans to adopt any 56-kbps standard released by 3Com/U.S. Robotics and its main competitors, Rockwell and Lucent, which use K56flex modem technology. An international standard is expected to be introduced by year's end.

By March, Sprint will have 56-kbps access rolled out in up to 30 large cities, as well as a national dial-up number.

"This plays into our strategy of the three things people really care about: speed, reliability, and help," a Sprint spokesman said today.

In the past year, Sprint has announced reliability guarantees and an "Internet Personal Trainers" program that helps customers learn how to navigate the Net and solve technical problems.

America Online, Microsoft Network, MCI, UUNet, and AT&T WorldNet, are among the Net service providers that already offer 56-kbps access.