said Friday it will lay off roughly 170 workers, or approximately 2% of its consumer broadband operation, to save $18 million annually.

The job cuts are primarily in 3Com's Rolling Meadows, Ill., office, and are part of an overall plan to save $250 million. 3Com blamed falling prices and margins for consumer broadband modems.

3Com, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif., will take a $4 million charge to earnings.

On Wednesday, 3Com

posted a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss, blaming weaker industry conditions, higher costs and eroding prices and margins.

Shares of 3Com fell 6 cents, or 1.1%, to $5.84 a share in recent


trading, up from Thursday's 52-week low of $4.84 a share.