Linksys launched itself into the cable modem market with its EtherFast Cable Modem BEFCMU10. Street price: $129.99.

The company, which provides home networking hardware through retail and e-commerce, designed the cable modem for an easy home installation, it says.

Thus far, it's shipped through Best Buy, and, says spokeswoman Karen Sohl. "We haven't had national deployment because we were awaiting MSO approvals from Comcast and Adelphia," she says. "We got approvals last Friday. Now that all MSOs are approved, the cable modem will be deployed nationally to all major retailers."

The EtherFast has USB and RJ-45 Ethernet ports, supports DOCSIS 1.0 and is upgradable to 1.1, features up to 42.88 Mbps downstream and up to 10.24 Mbps upstream, supports up to 32 IP addresses for a PC, is field upgradeable by cable providers and comes with SNMP remote monitoring so that providers can remotely diagnose and troubleshoot.

The modem also can be used with any Linksys EtherFast cable/DSL router to hook up a home network, Linksys says.

"The addition of the cable modem to our product line enables cable subscribers to build their entire cable network on Linksys solutions," VP of Broadband Development and Broadband Services Janie Tsao says in a statement. Network troubleshooting can be done via one phone call to Linksys and hardware will be compatible.

The company also notes that remote monitoring means service providers can upgrade customer cable modems over the Internet and do software upgrades offsite.

The cable modem has been approved by all major cable providers, including Adelphia Communications, AT&T Broadband, Cable ONE, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Mediacom and Time Warner.

Any discounts vary depending on deals and contacts, Sohl says, although the company has no MSO deals yet.

Linksys also announced DOCSIS 1.0 certification last week on version two of the cable modem. "The tooling (is different)," Sohl says. "It will look like the Linksys routers."