3Com Corp. will attempt to make a big Web splash on Oct.
26, saying that its two-way cable modems and headend gear are shipping.
But that was about all that 3Com could say during a
scheduled pre-briefing last week, despite grand hopes that Tele-Communications Inc., its
biggest data customer, would participate in the announcement with launch information.
TCI -- which is now officially in a "quiet
period," pending its takeover by AT&T Corp. -- chose not to participate in
In May, TCI.NET, the data
arm of TCI, picked 3Com and Bay Networks Inc. for cable-modem headends, and it chose 3Com,
General Instrument Corp. and Thomson Consumer Electronics for cable modems. The plan at
the time was for TCI.NET to make the @Home Network data service available to as many as
2.5 million TCI homes by year-end.
Now, TCI.NET is being integrated into its corporate parent.
Last week, officials declined to discuss that development or 3Com's news.
The 3Com press teleconference, as of press time last week,
was also slated to be Webcast to reporters in order to demonstrate the types of
applications that users will see in a broadband, high-speed environment.
And from the sound of it last week, 3Com's executives
were bursting with enthusiasm about the TCI launches that they weren't allowed to
Rick Edson, executive vice president of 3Com's new
business initiatives group, said "production-level" quantities of the
company's new "Total Control" cable modems and headends -- which are now
configured to run in both bidirectional and telco-return models were ready to go.
He declined to discuss quantities, except to say that 3Com is still targeting shipments of
more than 3 million modems per year by 2003.
"We're very excited about what's happening
with our products, and we're even more excited about the changes happening at
TCI," Edson said, referring to AT&T's acquisition of TCI. "They're
a very good customer of ours, and so is AT&T, and we're pretty excited with the
directions that they're headed in."