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Volume 28 : Issue 84 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  Re: Western Union public fax services, 1960 
  Re: Western Union public fax services, 1960 
  Re: Western Union public fax services, 1960 
  Re: Joint utility poles 

====== 27 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ====== Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using -any name or email address- included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the email. =========================== Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters, viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome. We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime. Geoffrey Welsh =========================== See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 21:26:33 -0700 (PDT) From: To: Subject: Re: Western Union public fax services, 1960 Message-ID: <> On Mar 23, 12:58 pm, John Levine <> wrote: > When long distance rates dropped below telegram > rates and residential phones became cheap enough that everyone had > them, WU was doomed. Western Union recognized in the 1950s that the individual telegram was doomed per above and working hard to develop alternative services. One area was private networks for industry and the government. Another was new services such as the fax we're discussing. WU also tried its hand a private line voice services in the 1960s. As best as I can tell, that didn't have many customers. I have no idea of the pricing (I'd love to know WU's charges relative to AT&T's charges at the same time for the same service.). Also, I suspect the availability of service was limited to major cities, so if you wanted a voice line to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, you were out of luck. Also, I suspect the service was limited to a few telephone sets. That is, a businessman might have a WU phone on his desk. If he happened to be away from his desk, he'd have to be located throughout the plant and brought back to his office to take a call (or make a call for that matter). That's inconvenient. A Bell private line would terminate on the company switchboard and be routable. (Certain FX lines used special heavy cords for higher voltages and would only connect to certain extensions). ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 13:54:24 +0000 (UTC) From: To: Subject: Re: Western Union public fax services, 1960 Message-ID: <gqdd2g$pj6$> wrote: > Just a side note...while UPS (United Parcel Service) had a large > market share in parcel shipping, it was never a monopoly. At one time > many people shipped their parcels via the US Post Office, and some > still do ("parcel post"). Unfortunately, the quality of the Post > Office service on parcels declined. It might surprise you to know that the US Post Office has gotten pretty darn good in recent years. My wife uses them for shipping pretty much exclusively. For a less than 2 lb. box of chocolates to arrive in a couple of days USPS beats UPS/FedEx/etc. on price and they haven't lost or damaged one yet. Of course, that's just one sample. Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va. ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 12:11:33 -0600 From: Dave Garland <> To: Subject: Re: Western Union public fax services, 1960 Message-ID: <lrWdnS693-gw-FfUnZ2dnUVZ_hiWnZ2d@posted.visi> wrote: > Just a side note...while UPS (United Parcel Service) had a large > market share in parcel shipping, it was never a monopoly. At one time > many people shipped their parcels via the US Post Office, and some > still do ("parcel post"). Unfortunately, the quality of the Post > Office service on parcels declined. > I can't speak to parcel post (which now seems to cost about 75% the cost of priority mail), but in some circles (e.g. people who ship accordions, which are fairly heavy and extremely complex instruments that are very susceptible to shipping damage) priority mail is the way to go. I don't know if the USPS has less automated mangling, fewer baggage handlers competing in the carton hurl olympics, or what, but the other services are far more likely to damage the shipment (even if it is well packed). And it's half the price of UPS for the same delivery time (priority mail vs. UPS 2nd day), a third the price of Fedex (and USPO counts Sat. as a "day", while UPS and Fedex don't). And the postal guys are reliable about signatures, too. Dave ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 11:10:59 -0600 From: Neal McLain <> To: Subject: Re: Joint utility poles Message-ID: <> Robert Bonomi wrote: > If a joint pole includes power, there is almost invariably a _ground_ > wire at the very top of things. I shouldn't need to explain why. In my experience (also in the USA), the opposite is true. High-voltage transmission and subtransmission lines are indeed protected by a grounded static wire above power conductors. But distribution lines are rarely fitted with static wires. Of course, the MGN (multi-grounded neutral) forms a continuous ground along the line. But the MGN is usually located below power conductors. See "Joint Pole" in any recent edition of Newton's Telecom Dictionary. An expended version of the same definition is at > In the U.S. (at least, that's the geography of my professional > knowledge, though the logic would seem to be applicable 'anywhere') > power is also almost invariably (I don't know of even a single > exception, but acknowledge that they may exist :) in the topmost > position, for a couple of solid engineering reasons: > 1) safety -- nobody has to go past the power to get to any other > service. > 2) pole-space efficiency -- power requires more physical separation > from other services than anything else on the pole. By putting it 'on > top' you only have one separation interval (below the power) of > 'unusable' space. Telcos usually require 12-inch separation between their facilities and any other facilities on the same pole. > After that, it tends to be -- in "descending" order -- a simple > matter of the order in which pole space was rented. Every pole attachment agreement I've ever seen specifies that CATV must be placed at least 12 inches *above* telephone cables. And since telcos were usually there first, they have the right to dictate the terms to the CATV companies. The 12" clearance requirement provides both companies space for the lasher -- the device that spins the lashing wire around the strand and the signal-conducting cables. See > AND, there's a third, 'practical', reason why power is on top -- it > is usually the power utility who puts the poles in, in the first > place. There is almost never a need for multiple services until power > is there... Not necessarily. Even in urban areas, telcos often set their own poles in places where no power pole exists. As you note, many of them are small short poles ("toothpick poles"). But at least as many are designed for joint use even if the immediate need is for telco only. I've often seen telco-only poles with 10 or 15 feet of unused space sticking up above telco for future power use. (Good thing, too: those poles provide space for CATV 12" above telco, and still leave space for power in the future.) > It is *VERY* rare to see power piggy-backed onto phone company poles > -- in part for the first two reasons mentioned above, and because > power distribution requires considerably sturdier footing than just > phone does. Wes Leatherock <> responded to that comment: > This is simply not correct. The agreements between power companies > and telephone companies provide that each company pays rent for using > the other's poles. In practical terms, they try to keep the ownership > about equal - half telco, half power company to simplify bookkeeping > by, as near as possible, cancelling out rental payments to one or the > other. In some cases this will mean the telco may own a pole used > only by the power company, or the power company owns a pole used only > by the telco. Depends on the local situation. In the case of investor-owned (for-profit) utilities, Wes's statement in generally correct: power and telco strive for 50-50 ownership. And, as Wes notes, there are situations where telco owns a pole used only by the power company, and where power owns a pole used only by the telco. But there are exceptions even to that. When I was working in cable TV in Madison, Wisconsin, we were never quite sure who owned which pole: some were 100% Madison Gas & Electric; some were 100% Wisconsin Telephone; some were 50-50; still others were odd combinations like 60-40. Fortunately, it didn't make much difference to us: we just submitted all pole applications to both companies and let them sort it out. WisTel's pole records were maintained in a central computer database at their headquarters in Milwaukee. MGE's pole records were hand-written in a 3-ring notebook. Guess which one was more accurate. In the case of municipal utilities, most joint poles are owned by the utility; i.e., the municipal government. When the city owns the power distribution wiring, the poles that support it, and the underlying land, it can pretty much dictate the terms to everybody else. Robert continued: > More separate [power] strands (especially with multiple branches on a > common feeder section) translates to greater wind/ice/snow loading > which means increased lateral stresses as well as the added weight; > then there is the weight of the transformer well. True. However, telco cables can be pretty heavy too; I've seen multipair cables almost two inches diameter. In order to prevent sag, strands supporting big cables like this have to be placed under high tensions, often several hundred pounds. Further complicating the situation, some polelines carry two or more telco cables. An extreme example: Similarly, a bundle of CATV cables can be as much as 2 or 3 inches in diameter. CATV cables are lighter than telco cables, but their supporting strands still have to be tensioned to prevent sag. Add three inches of radial ice and a 100-mph wind, and communications cables can put a huge lateral force on a poleline. Neal McLain ------------------------------ TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Patrick Townson. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is currently being moderated by Bill Horne while Pat Townson recovers from a stroke. Contact information: Bill Horne Telecom Digest 43 Deerfield Road Sharon MA 02067-2301 781-784-7287 bill at horne dot net Subscribe: telecom Unsubscribe: telecom This Digest is the oldest continuing e-journal about telecomm- unications on the Internet, having been founded in August, 1981 and published continuously since then. Our archives are available for your review/research. We believe we are the oldest e-zine/mailing list on the internet in any category! URL information: Copyright (C) 2008 TELECOM Digest. All rights reserved. Our attorney is Bill Levant, of Blue Bell, PA. ************************ --------------------------------------------------------------- Finally, the Digest is funded by gifts from generous readers such as yourself who provide funding in amounts deemed appropriate. Your help is important and appreciated. A suggested donation of fifty dollars per year per reader is considered appropriate. See our address above. Please make at least a single donation to cover the cost of processing your name to the mailing list. All opinions expressed herein are deemed to be those of the author. Any organizations listed are for identification purposes only and messages should not be considered any official expression by the organization. End of The Telecom digest (4 messages) ******************************

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