News Release

Cisco Systems Introduces New High Performance Broadband Technology System - Long-Reach Ethernet - for Multi-Unit Building Deployments

SAN JOSE, Calif. - February 20, 2001 - Cisco Systems, Inc.,
Feb 20, 2001

SAN JOSE, Calif. - February 20, 2001 - Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today announced Long-Reach Ethernet (LRE), an innovative broadband access and service delivery technology for scalable deployment of high speed Ethernet services on existing voice grade copper plants. Cisco LRE technology enables the simultaneous delivery of voice, video and data services at 5-15 Megabits per second (Mbps) over existing telephone wire at distances up to 5,000 feet. This allows customers to utilize the benefits of Ethernet in places where they previously could not due to distance limitations or older wiring infrastructures such as those found in multi-unit buildings (MxUs) that consist of apartment and office buildings and enterprise environments that include education, healthcare and industrial campuses.

In addition, LRE provides the performance, simplicity and ease-of-deployment associated with Ethernet As a result, LRE is a "last mile" access solution that enables enterprises, building operators and service providers to deploy high speed data services. LRE eliminates the need for costly infrastructure upgrades by enabling high speed access using existing telephone wire.

"With the increasing bandwidth requirements of communications services including > integrated voice/video/data offerings, IP telephony, and video-on-demand > there is a clear need for technology that can scale to satisfy bandwidth needs at a reasonable cost," said Meredith Rosenberg, Director at the Yankee Group, a Boston, Mass.-based market analysis firm. "Cisco, with its portfolio of building-focused broadband infrastructure products and services, has put together a solution that addresses these challenges."

Designed for High Performance and Ease-of-deployment

The Cisco LRE technology delivers 5-15 Megabits per second (Mbps) symmetric performance over existing, single-pair copper wiring at distances up to 5,000 feet. Cisco LRE delivers broadband service on the same wire pair as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), digital telephone traffic and ISDN. In addition, Cisco LRE is compatible with asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), allowing service providers to provision LRE to buildings where broadband services already exist. These features dramatically reduce the capital and deployment costs for service providers and system integrators, creating a low cost, easy to deploy solution.

Cisco LRE technology components include:

  • The Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series LRE XL Switches are offered in either 12- or 24-port versions and also feature four 10/100 Ethernet ports in one rack unit. Based on Cisco's leading Catalyst 2900 Series XL, the Cisco LRE switches feature integrated LRE technology and do not require an external modem pool.

  • The Cisco 575 LRE Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) Device is a low-cost, compact device that includes a standard RJ-11 port that connects to the existing telephone wire infrastructure, and standard RJ-45 and RJ-11 ports that serve, respectively, Ethernet equipment and telephones. The Cisco 575 LRE CPE supports the co-existence of POTS, digital phone and ISDN traffic on the same telephone line by splitting LRE and voice traffic at the CPE device.

  • The Cisco LRE 48 Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) Splitter is a 48-port device ideal for installations where the PBX system is onsite and POTS traffic must co-exist over the same telephone line. The Cisco LRE 48 POTS Splitter allows the co-existence of LRE and voice traffic (POTS, digital phone and ISDN) on the same telephone line. Each splitter is one rack unit and has six RJ-21 connectors - two each for connectivity to the patch panel, the Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series LRE XL switches and an onsite PBX system.

The Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series LRE XL switches, based on the industry leading Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series XL desktop switch family, are designed for ease-of-management and feature Cisco's advanced Switch Clustering technology and Cluster Management Suite (CMS) Web-based management software. Cisco Switch Clustering technology delivers single IP address management of up to 16 devices, from a single management interface. The embedded, Cisco Web-based CMS allows remote, intuitive management of clustered switches and the Cisco 575 LRE in-room CPE device. The Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series LRE XL switches also feature IOS Software and Command Line Interface (CLI), delivering common software support and CLI across both Cisco router and switch platforms.

Collectively, these LRE technology components deliver the performance required to support simultaneous voice, video and data services, high speed Internet access, video-on-demand and IP telephony; affording new revenue opportunities to service providers and MxU owners. In addition, for service providers entering the MxU market, the ease-of-deployment attributes of LRE technology assist in the early stages of penetrating the market when the focus is on quickly establishing an in-building presence with existing tenants and guests.

Cisco Offers Complete Technology Portfolio for MxU Buildings

Together with today's announced LRE products, Cisco Aironet 340 and 350 Series of wireless local area network (LAN) products and Cisco Catalyst 2900 and 3500 Series XL of 10/100 Ethernet switches, further strengthen Cisco's ability to deliver Ethernet to all in-building facilities, regardless of building wiring or infrastructure.

As the richness of such solutions increases, service providers require attendant improvements in network management, variable bandwidth provisioning and billing management. To address these requirements, Cisco also offers the Building Broadband Service Manager (BBSM), a software platform previously named IPORT that was acquired through Cisco's acquisition of the broadband subscriber management business of CAIS Software Solutions, that enables central management and reduced support costs. Its capabilities include plug-and-play access, authentication, tiered bandwidth configuration, end-user self-provisioning and automated billing. Combined, Building Broadband Service Manager (BBSM), Cisco Aironet wireless LAN and LRE products form a complete solution to enable MxU environments to experience high-speed Internet access as well as more advanced connectivity services.

"Through our strength in innovative engineering, Cisco LRE technology brings a crucial new capability to the delivery of best-in-class, provisioned services that will be critical to the large, emerging MxU market," said Larry Birenbaum, Vice President and Group General Manager of Cisco's Ethernet Access Group. "Cisco is the only company with the breadth of technologies to provide an end-to-end broadband access solution that meets the challenge of any and all building wiring infrastructures. It also provides service providers with the opportunity to reduce their cost of doing business while increasing profitability."

For more information on the Cisco building broadband LRE technology, please visit

Pricing and Availability

The new Cisco Long-Reach Ethernet technology components will be available in April 2001. U.S. List Pricing is as follows:

  • Cisco Catalyst 2924 LRE XL: $6,495
  • Cisco Catalyst 2912 LRE XL: $3,295
  • Cisco 575 LRE CPE Device: $280
  • Cisco LRE 48 Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) Splitter: $1,395