Tut Systems piggybacks data connection on phone wiring

Pleasing the people used to mean the promise of a chicken in every pot. Then it was a
car in every garage. Now it is high-speed voice-over-data network link to every home.


Tut Systems Inc. of Pleasant Hill, Calif., is aiming at what it believes is a $100
billion market: the last few feet to the data network. Tut’s Expresso MDU 2000 access
concentrator is designed for multiple-dwelling-unit housing, such as housing on military
bases.


Although high-speed data service such as Digital Subscriber Line and Integrated
Services Digital Network is widely available, distributing the access inside multiunit
buildings has been difficult and rewiring expensive.


Expresso MDU integrates Tut’s Expresso access concentrator and its HomeRun
networking products. Expresso supplies a 1-Mbps data connection with concurrent voice
traffic over existing copper telephone wiring within buildings. A $139 HomeRun network
interface card, or line card, plugs each user’s PC directly into an existing phone
jack. Telephones can be used normally.


Craig Stouffer, Tut vice president of marketing, said it makes no difference what kind
of WAN access the building has. “Just bring the high-speed data into the back of the
box,” he said.


The Expresso chassis’ central shelf accommodates the WAN interface card and up to
17 eight-port HomeRun line cards, permitting up to 136 line-side subscriber connections.
Up to eight of the shelves can connect via 100-Mbps Fast Ethernet for a maximum of 1,088
ports. The HomeRun line cards in turn connect to existing copper pairs serving single
units.


The Expresso MDU 2000 chassis, including power supply, one network management card and
one multiplexer card, sells for about $5,000. Eight HomeRun line cards cost $2,695.


Contact Tut Systems at 800-998-4888.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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