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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

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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&T’s 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
Evolution of Telecommunication Technology
  • Today’s telecommunication technologies have evolved from the earliest smoke signals to almost instant global transmission of large amounts of data.
early signaling and telegraphy
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 telegraphy5
Early Signaling and Telegraphy
  • 1856 - Western Union Telegraph Company was founded.
  • 1861 – Over two thousand telegraph offices operated across the United States.
  • 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 technology9
Telephone Technology
  • 1878- The first telephone exchange opened in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • Connected 21 separate lines.
telephone technology10
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 technology11
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 technology12
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 technology13
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 technology14
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.
wireless 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 technology17
Wireless Technology
  • Examples of wireless technology
    • Phones
    • Radios
    • Televisions
    • Satellite communications
wireless technology18
Wireless Technology
  • 1894- Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi a method of transmitting electromagnetic signals through the air.
    • His invention relied on an induction coil.
wireless technology19
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 technology20
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 technology21
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 technology22
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 technology23
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.
early computing
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 computing26
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 computing27
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 antitrust measures
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 measures30
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 measures31
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
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
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 monopoly35
Challenging the Monopoly
  • The restriction against interconnecting to AT&T’s 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 didn’t use the Bell System, it did not have to pay AT&T for use of its infrastructure.
at t divestiture
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 Department’s 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 divestiture37
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 divestiture40
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 divestiture42
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 199644
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 199645
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
emerging technologies
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 technologies49
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.
  • 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.