Network World Debate to Test 'Last Mile' Views

LAS VEGAS (04/24/2000) - If we're finally on the cusp of a tremendous leap forward in terms of inexpensive broadband access to WANs and the Internet, how can you take advantage of it?

And which carrier is best positioned to provide it?

That's the subject of Network World's upcoming Broadband Access Showdown, a keynote-level session at NetWorld+Interop 2000 in Las Vegas next month.

Top executives from five of the leading carriers in broadband access technologies will take the floor in a debate moderated by Network World Editorial Director John Gallant.

Executives from national giants AT&T Corp. and MCI WorldCom Corp., Bell powerhouse SBC Communications Inc., broadband specialist Qwest Communications International Inc. and wireless local loop pioneer Nextlink will debate some hot issues - digital subscriber line (DSL), cable modems and other high-speed local-access technologies.

There will be no PowerPoint presentations, no repetitive theoretical discussions and no canned 20-minute sales pitches. Instead, the five panelists will be questioned first by Network World News Editor Bob Brown and Senior Editor David Rohde in a round-robin format, with no rehearsal and no advance knowledge of questions. Then the panelists will have a chance to ask each other questions.

At the Showdown, two broad areas of key importance to network professionals will be emphasized. First, for corporate sites, can users really start thinking about DSL, cable modems and fixed-wireless local bypass systems, or should they just leverage these options with their carriers to get less expensive T-1 lines?

And for broad rollouts of high-speed small office/home office and extranet architectures, the discussion will look at which - if any - of the technologies offer the kind of broad availability, reliable installation and solid performance that network managers need.

There's no sense installing a new WAN technology only to have your carriers point fingers at one another after the lines are in. Instead, come to the Network World Broadband Access Showdown, and watch the carriers question each other at no risk to you.

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