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The Evolution of Telecommunications Technology and Policy

Chapter 3

Objectives
In this chapter, you will learn to:

Describe the growth of telecommunications technology since the late 19th century Identify key inventions and their current equivalents in telephony technology Explain the impetus for and impact of AT&Ts divestiture Discuss how government has influenced the way in which consumers obtain telecommunications services List current policy trends that affect the telecommunications industry

Evolution of Telecommunication Technology

Todays telecommunication technologies have evolved from the earliest smoke signals to almost instant global transmission of large amounts of data.

Early Signaling and Telegraphy

Semaphore - a type of signaling, in which visual cues represent letters or words. Morse code - the transmission of a series of short and long pulses (dots and dashes) that represented characters. Duplexing - simultaneously transmitting a signal in both directions along the same wire. Multiplexing - simultaneously transmitting an indeterminate number of multiple signals over one circuit.

Early Signaling and Telegraphy


1856 - Western Union Telegraph Company was founded. 1861 Over two thousand telegraph offices operated across the United States.

Telephone Technology

Telephone Technology

Infrastructure

Wires criss-crossing cities and states and terminating in several exchanges or central offices.

Exchange was also known as a switching point because the device used to open and close a circuit is known as a switch.

Operators would connect the circuits and complete the call for the subscriber.

Subscribers refers to a telephone company customer

Telephone Technology

1878- The first telephone exchange opened in New Haven, Connecticut. Connected 21 separate lines.

Telephone Technology

In 1889 Almon Strowger developed the automatic switch called the step-by-step. In 1896 he replaced the button-pushing method with a rotary dialer.

Telephone Technology

In 1913, N.J. Reynolds, a Western Electric engineer, developed a better automatic switch, the crossbar switch. It used a grid of horizontal and vertical bars, with electromagnets at their ends. The horizontal bars could rotate up and down to connect to specific vertical bars and thus complete circuits.

Original version could complete 10 simultaneous connections. By the 1970 a single crossbar could connect 35,000 connections.

Telephone Technology

In the mid-20th century AT&T integrated electronics into crossbar switches

1965 first electronic switching system was used Handled up to 65,000 two-way voice circuits.

Until 1970 all telephone switches depended on a continuous physical connection to complete and maintain the call.

Telephone Technology

1976 New electronic switching device was put into service. Time division switching - a transmission technique in which samples from multiple incoming lines are digitized, then each sample is issued to the same circuit, in a predetermined sequence, before finally being transmitted to the correct outbound line.

Telephone Technology

Space division switching - manipulating the physical space between two lines, thereby closing a circuit to connect a call. Local switching center (often called a local office) - a place where multiple phone lines from homes and businesses in one geographic area converge and terminate. Tandem switching center - an exchange where lines from multiple local offices converge and terminate. Toll switching center - an exchange where lines from multiple tandem switching centers converge and terminate.

Telephone Technology

Wireless Technology

Telegraphs and telephones are examples of wireline, or wire-bound technology, because they rely on physically connected wires to transmit and receive signals.
Wireless technology - relies on the atmosphere to transmit and receive signals.

Wireless Technology

Examples of wireless technology


Phones Radios Televisions Satellite communications

Wireless Technology

1894- Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi a method of transmitting electromagnetic signals through the air.

His invention relied on an induction coil.

Wireless Technology

Induction coil is made by winding wire in a either one or multiple layers around a metal rod to form a coil then applying a charge Charged wire induces an electromagnetic field that generates voltage Marconi connected an induction coil to a telegraph key. Each time the key was pressed the coil discharged a voltage through the air between to brass surfaces Metal filings in a glass cylinder became charged and cohered. The length of time they cohered translated into short and long pulses. Pulses were relayed to a Morse code printer. Marconi invention used the same type of signals sent and received by a telegraph.

Wireless Technology

Vacuum tube - a sealed container made of glass, metal, or ceramic, that contains, in a vacuum, a charged plate that transmits current to a filament. Audion - patented in 1907by DeForest, is a type of vacuum tube that contains an additional electrode in the middle of the positive and negative electrodes.

Boosts or amplifies a signal. First instants of signal amplification and it formed the basis for all subsequent radio and television advances.

1912- Edwin Armstrong improved the Audion. He discovered that by feeding the signal back the tube the power of the Audion could be increased.

Wireless Technology

Continued experimentation resulted in the invention of Frequency modulation.


Frequency modulation is technology used in FM radio and other forms of wireless technology. In Frequency modulation one wave containing the information to be transmitted (for example, on a classical FM radio station, a violin concerto) is combined with another wave, called a carrier wave, whose frequency is constant.

Frequency is the number of times each second that a sine wave completes a full cycle.

Wireless Technology

The advent of FM radio afforded the best clarity of all wireless technologies then available.
Walkie-Talkies use frequency modulation 1946- Bell Laboratories connect the first wireless car phone to the St. Louis network.

1962- Telstar Satellite successfully transmitted television and telephone conversation across the Atlantic for the first time.

Wireless Technology

Geosynchronous - means that satellites orbit the earth at the same rate as the earth turns.
Uplink - a broadcast from an earth-based transmitter to an orbiting satellite. At the satellite, a transponder receives the uplink, then transmits the signals to another earth-based location in a downlink.

Wireless Technology

Early Computing

1822- Charles Babbage father of computing


Computing - the automatic manipulation of input based on logical instructions. Difference engine - an English mathematics professor, proposed an automated calculating machine as large as a locomotive and powered by steam. Herman Hollerith - used his punch card invention to found the Tabulating Machine company which later became known as International Business Machines (IBM).

Early Computing

Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) - a multipurpose computer so large that it required its own 30 foot by 50 foot room. ENIAC was first used to assist with ballistics calculations.

Early Computing

Memory - in the mid-1940s, a U.S. scientist named Jon Von Neumann designed a computer that was capable of retaining logical instructions for use at any time, even after the computer had been turned off, then on again.
UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) the first computer designed for business (and not merely scientific purposes), became available in 1951.

Early Computing

Early Antitrust Measures

In 1877 Bell and two other men formed the Bell Telephone Company. After acquiring dozens of new patents from other companies and exponentially increasing its value, the Bell Telephone Company became American Bell in 1880. In 1882, American Bell gained a controlling interest in the Western Electric Company, and together, they became known as the Bell System. In 1885, American Telegraph and Telephone (AT&T) was incorporated as a subsidiary of the Bell System, with the aim of constructing a long distance telephone network and providing long distance service (to Bell System subscribers only). By 1899, AT&T bought out American Bell and became the parent company of the Bell System.

Early Antitrust Measures

Until 1984, AT&T consisted of the following:

AT&T, the parent company and long-distance provider 22 Bell Operating Companies (BOCs), the telephone companies that provided local service in different regions of the nation Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of the company Bell Telephone Laboratories, the research and development arm of the company, responsible for innovation and new technology

Early Antitrust Measures

Kingsbury Commitment - fearing that the government might use its antitrust laws against it, AT&T approached the U.S. Department of Justice in 1913 with a proposal for reducing its monopoly.

As a result of the Kingsbury Commitment, AT&T functioned as a regulated monopoly from 1913 to 1984. Being a regulated monopoly meant that although AT&T was allowed to provide services without any competitors, it was subject to a great deal of constraints dictated by the government

The Communications Act of 1934

From 1910 to 1934, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) regulated telegraph and radio service. In 1934, Congress passed the Communications Act of 1934, which established the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state Public Utilities Commissions (PUCs), and initial guidelines for the telephone industry. The Communications Act of 1934 also put into law the provisions of the Kingsbury Commitment.

Challenging the Monopoly

Hush-a-Phone decision - a Supreme court ruling that allowed "foreign attachments," or devices that were not manufactured by AT&T to be affixed to AT&T telephones.

However, the Hush-a-Phone decision did not allow other companies equipment to interconnect with AT&T lines

Carterfone decision was named after a means of connecting private, radio controlled telephone to the local telephone lines which was invented by Tom Carter the same man who invented the Hush-a-Phone device.

Challenging the Monopoly

Challenging the Monopoly

The restriction against interconnecting to AT&Ts telephone network was challenged in 1965 and eventually lifted in 1968 through the Carterfone decision. In 1969, a company called Microwave Communications International (MCI) began carrying business phone calls over a private microwave link between St. Louis, Missouri and Chicago. Because MCI didnt use the Bell System, it did not have to pay AT&T for use of its infrastructure.

AT&T Divestiture

The Modified Final Judgment (MFJ) accompanied by over 500 pages of instructions detailing exactly how AT&T should be divided. The Justice Departments primary goal for breaking up AT&T was to spur innovation and competition in a field that would prove even more vital in the latter part of the century than it had in the first.

AT&T Divestiture

As part of the MFJ, AT&T was forced to divide. From the 22 former Bell Operating Companies that provided local phone service and phone directories, the MFJ created seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs). The business that AT&T kept was separated into two divisions: AT&T Technologies, which handled the innovation and production of new technologies, and AT&T Communications, which handled long distance phone service. The research and development business, formerly Bell Laboratories, became Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) and was jointly owned by the new RBOCs.

AT&T Divestiture

AT&T Divestiture

AT&T Divestiture

Until the divestiture of AT&T, the distinction between local service and long distance service was not clear. In the MFJ, Judge Harold Greene subdivided each RBOC region into Local Access and Transport Areas (LATAs), roughly equivalent to area codes at that time. Phone service within a specific LATA was known as intraLATA service. Companies that supply local, or intraLATA telephone service are known as local exchange carriers (LECs).

AT&T Divestiture

AT&T Divestiture

InterLATA - a service that allowed for calls between LATAs was known. Interexchange carriers (IXCs) - another name for InterLATA service providers. Examples of IXCs include Sprint, MCI (now WorldCom), and AT&T. Equal access - requiring local phone companies to provide equal access to their facilities meant that AT&T no longer had an unfair advantage over new competitors in long distance services.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996

The Telecommunications Act of 1996

The Act codified requirements for the interconnection of all local exchange carriers. These policies included:

Interconnecting with other service providers and not imposing any barriers to interconnection Enabling nondiscriminatory resale of their services to competitors Providing number portability, or the ability of telecommunications service users to retain their same telephone number without hampering the quality, reliability, or convenience of their phone service Allowing competitors to access and connect to their facilities

The Telecommunications Act of 1996


To increase competition in local phone service, the Act placed the following requirements on all ILECs:

Negotiating interconnection agreements in good faith Providing competitors with the same type and quality of access to their facilities that they themselves could obtain at their cost Providing competitors with access to subscriber information, such as telephone numbers and billing data Offering nondiscriminatory, wholesale prices for telecommunications services to all competitors

The Telecommunications Act of 1996

The Telecommunications Act of 1996

Emerging Technologies

At this time, Congress is debating a bill that would remove all long-distance and high-speed Internet access service restrictions on RBOCs. One issue that the RBOCs continue to battle is the access fees applied to each connection with a customer or another carrier.

Lawmakers argue everyone should share the burden through some type of tax whether on service or equipment.

In 1999, Congress mandated cable service providers to allow any Internet company to distribute content over its infrastructure without any extra cost

Emerging Technologies

Digital Divide difference between the haves and the have-nots. Those who have access to the information superhighway and at what cost. Recent Bills in Congress

Enhancing rural internet access Efficient allocation of phone numbers Methods for ensuring privacy in wireless technology Measure to guard against excessive consolidation of telecommunication companies.

Summary

In 1837, Samuel Morse invented the telegraph, which consisted of an electromagnet and a hand-operated switch, known as a key, to alternately open or close an electrical circuit over a wire. What he transmitted was a series of short and long pulses (dots and dashes) that represented characters, known as Morse code. To connect multiple subscribers, Alexander Graham Bell devised the telephone exchange, where subscriber lines terminated and operators connected the circuits to complete a call. The first computer designed for business (and not merely scientific purposes), the Universal Automatic Computer (UNIVAC) became available in 1951.