Cisco's DSL puts customers in driver's seat

Cisco's DSL puts customers in driver's seat

Cisco gave Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology a firm push late last month with the announcement of its end-to-end DSL product portfolio.

There are four categories in the DSL portfolio: customer premises equipment (CPE); central office equipment; service-management control products; and service-creation and -selection products, said Enzo Signore, Cisco's DSL product line marketing manager.

"The architecture addresses not just the residential market but telecommuters and businesses, too," Signore said.

"It has the ability to scale current infrastructures to address a larger number of customers; the ability to run not just high- speed Internet access, but many more business-oriented services such as virtual private networks (VPNs); and it allows telcos to charge more for a service."

End-user solutions

The DSL CPE solution includes four products that enable providers to offer DSL solutions for various end-user categories.

The Cisco 6200 Series Advanced DSL Access Multiplexer has now been added to Cisco's DSL central office solutions. According to Cisco, the Cisco 6200 focuses on network scalability and performance, and includes features such as an ATM implementation, dedicated traffic buffers on every subscriber line and network interface port, and options for line cards, hot-swap cards, and redundancy. The company also announced its 6400 series Universal Access Concentrator. The 6400 combines Cisco Internetwork Operating System routing and ATM switching capabilities and can aggregate traffic generated by DSL multiplexers. It also provides IP and ATM traffic shaping and management, and allows service providers to offer switched network services, according to Cisco officials. The 6400 will be available later this year.

In addition, Cisco announced its Cisco 6510 Service Selection Gateway (SSG) and Dashboard and the Cisco User Control Point (UCP). The SSG dedicated processor and Dashboard allow providers to promote service offerings by enabling customers to select, on demand, additional value-added services. The UCP is a carrier-class service policy administration system that enables personalised IP services. It offers fault tolerance and load sharing of its components, integrating authentication, authorisation, accounting, roaming, and address-management services.

Analysts were impressed with the end-to-end product portfolio.

"Cisco thought about everything someone would need to deploy DSL services," said Ray Keneipp, an analyst at Current Analysis.

"The most important things are the fact that it allows end-to-end management and interoperability - two key issues for the DSL market going forward," said Craig Driscoll, an analyst at the Yankee

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