56K Standards Wars Waning? Last week, the companies embroiled in the war for 56 Kbps modem standards reached a tentative agreement on a 56K technology that may become the official standard. This agreement comes faster than we'd expected - in a recent NetBITS article, "Speed Jockeys on the Internet: Flying at 56K," we reported a standard wasn't likely to show up until at least September 1998. However, it now appears the lack of an accepted technology has been hurting major combatants such as 3Com/USRobotics and Lucent Technologies/Rockwell Communications. Early reports suggest the final 56K technology will combine elements of current K56flex and X2 designs. It looks as though the ITU will use this agreement to draft a "determined" (preliminary) standard during its January meeting, which is when modems using the technology are likely to begin appearing. Chances are also good the ITU will ratify the final standard at its September 1998 meeting. [JLC]
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