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COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET  October 1996, Week 4

COMMUNET October 1996, Week 4

Subject:

re: phone system collapse?

From:

[log in to unmask] (Curtiss Priest)

Date:

Fri, 25 Oct 1996 12:42:38 PST

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (129 lines)

I always enjoy Robert Berger's insights into such matters, Curtiss

Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 20:23:18 -0700 (PDT)
From: Robert Berger <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Cc: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: IP: Pac Bell says Net use may collapse phone system
Message-ID: <9610242023.ZM15361@biko>

Concerning San Jose Mercury News Article Published: Oct. 24, 1996 BY
HOWARD
BRYANT

Its obvious to me that whatever "ISP Executive" Howard Bryant talked to
knows
as much about how the phone system works as most ISPs (ie not more than
how to
order some phone lines and T1s... of course Telcos know even less about
the
Internet :-)

The core of what Pac Bell claims is true: On a dialup system (i.e. the
phone
network that your phones are connected to) there is limited switching
capacity
(the multi-million dollar 5ESS or DMS-100s in most Central Offices) and
trunking capacity (the bandwidth capacity between Central Office
Switches).

The ratio of lines from homes/offices to switching/trunking capacity has
been
based on a long history of calls being used for voice that last only a
few
minutes on average. The ratio has traditionally been very high (many more
lines
to switching/trunking capacity). Adding more swtiching and trunking
capacity is
very expensive compared to the cost of adding more lines.

When a large number of lines start having phone calls that last
significantly
longer than a few minutes radically shift the required ratio of lines to
switching/trunking. To keep phone service ready and realiable (ie the
amount of
time it takes from when you pick up a phone to when you get dialtone or
to not
get a fast busy signal when you dial), the phone company would have to ether do
SIGNIFICANT buildout of switches and trunking OR (and this was not
discussed in
the article or probably the press release) develop a system to have calls
destined for on-line services / internet services BYPASS the traditional
switches and trunks.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not a cheerleader for the Phone
companies. I said that the core of what Pac Bell said is true, but I
stongly
disagree on that raising access fees and tarrifs are not the right way to
deliver a solution to the demand for  lots of long connections to the
Internet!

The proper approach is the one that phone companies should be pushed to
do. The
RBOCS have already put out a Request for Quote on such systems. Nortel has been
the first to respond
(http://www.nortel.com/home/press/1996c/8_28_96235Internet_Thruway.html),
but there are many other companies gearing up to address this problem.

In fact, several of the solutions being proposed would integrate xDSL
services
into the solution. This means that the RBOCs could fix their switch/trunk
overload problem AND deploy xDSL on a faster track at costs MUCH LOWER
and
performance much higher than by building more switching and trunking
capacity.

[xDSL is a family of proposed services (ADSL, HDSL, SDSL, VDSL) that use
the
same copper wire from your house to the Central Office as your phone, but
instead it connects to a special hardware that routes normal phone calls
to the
traditional switch and data traffic can go right to a dedicated high
speed
backbone. In fact it can carry data at rates significantly higher than
ISDN,
from 384kbps to as much as 6Mbps]

This means that there is NO NEED TO CHARGE ACCESS FEES TO ISPs (unless
they
insist on using dialup when there are bypass services in place). Some say
that
instead of charging enhanced service providers, they should just drop the
access fess for everyone, but thats another story.

There should not be any special tarrifs to build the bypass / xDSL / high
bandwidth backbone. That will be payed for by appropriate market based
pricing
for those services themseleves. The Phone Companies do need to learn that
huge
demand is not a problem that should be stamped out by raising prices, but
by
using appropriate technology to deliver a solution and increasing their
market
share. The huge switch based phone system infrastructure is in the same
place
as the Mainframe was. We now have more computing power than ever at lower
costs
and in a distributed manor. The phone companies should be planning for
the same
transition.

 By the way, the fact that a phone company is adding many more lines does
not
show that they are increasing the switching capacity as under the
traditional
ratios they can easily add more lines and have very minor impact on the
switching capacity.

If concerned citizens want to have lower cost, higher performance long
connect
times to the Internet, they should encourage the Phone Companies and PUCs
to
quickly deploy the bypass concept and eventually, xDSL.
--
                 Robert J. Berger - CTO / Founder
InterNex Information Services, Inc. 2302 Walsh Rd. Santa Clara, CA 95051
               Voice: 408-327-2290 Fax: 408-496-5484

------------------------------

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