Boca announces 56K upgrade policy

Modem maker will offer a free software package enabling the ITU protocol when that industry standard arrives.

Modem maker Boca Research has announced it will offer users of its 56-kbps modems a free software upgrade to the ITU 56-kbps standard once it is approved. The ITU standard will allow all 56-kbps modems to interoperate.

Currently, two competing standards--US Robotics' X2 and Rockwell's K56flex--offer 56-kbps speed, but they don't interoperate. Many other modem makers are also offering free upgrades of their 56-kbps modems to the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) standard.

Boca's software upgrade will be available from the company's Web site after the standard comes out, expected to happen in January 1998. The offer is good until June 30, 1998.

Boca currently markets two 56-kbps modems: the Boca 56K Internet modem and the Boca 56K Home/Office modem, each in internal and external models. The modems sell for $119 to $159.

Owners of Boca's 33.6-kbps modems will have the option of trading up to a ITU-standard 56-kbps modem for $99 when the standard is finalized. Those who do so will send their modems to the company for exchange.