Cabletron Launches $100 Million Network Equipment Giveaway

CHICAGO -- Networking equipment Cabletron Systems Inc. is giving away an estimated $100 million grab bag of network equipment to organizations in the government, education and nonprofit communities who need just a few components to get their networks up and running.

The gear runs the gamut between unused but older and used but operable laptop computers, hubs, routers and even some high-end Asynchronous Transfer Mode components. It will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to organizations that are "really in need," said Michaela Mezo, state and local business development manager for Cabletron.

Mezo announced the giveaway at the annual membership conference here of Public Technology Inc., the technology information arm of the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties and the International City/County Management Association.All of the equipment will be tested as operable, said Mezo. Cabletron also is offering some limited technical support to organizations on how best to integrate the equipment into their network environments. Cabletron also would pick up the shipping costs.

Although it ranges from 90-day to 3-year-old equipment, a wide assortment of network components is available. "It is everything you needed to build a network--three years ago," said Eric Tamke, director of Cabletron's architecture convergence program. "We don't want to give away junk; we want to give away stuff that's useful, stuff that needs a home."

Among likely candidates for the equipment--enough to fill some 18 to 20 tractor trailers--are teachers' colleges, small cities and towns, and rural communities and governments.

Cabletron will post applications for the equipment on the World Wide Web sites of nonprofit organizations, including PTI (www.pti.org), the National Alliance of Black School Educators (www.nabse.org) and the National Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (www.natoa.org). Applications should be available this week, Mezo said.

-- Paul McCloskey ()

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