34 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2015 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.
The Telecom Digest for Nov 17, 2015
Volume 34 : Issue 208 : "text" Format
The Telecom Digest has switched to a new mailing list system, and for that reason this online version will be the first one in a revised "classic" format, without any internal links
Table of contents:
* 1 - [telecom] Five Ways Your Smartphone Can Help Your Health - Monty Solomon
* 2 - Re: [telecom] Your ISP's Worst Nightmare ... Municipal Broadband
Networks - Neal McLain
* 3 - [telecom] History--Bell system PBX marketing literature - HAncock4
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 11:34:05 -0500
From: Monty Solomon
Subject: [telecom] Five Ways Your Smartphone Can Help Your Health
Five Ways Your Smartphone Can Help Your Health
Your smartphone can help improve your health at the push of a button, or
sometimes just by yelling at its voice-activated software.
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2015 22:01:47 -0800 (PST)
From: Neal McLain
Subject: Re: [telecom] Your ISP's Worst Nightmare ... Municipal Broadband
On Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 8:42:41 PM UTC-6, Barry Margolin wrote:
> In article <email@example.com>,
> Neal McLain wrote:
> > The worst nightmare of Verizon, Comcast, and other commercial
> > broadband providers is coming true. Across the USA, their
> > customers are voting to establish municipally owned and
> > operated networks. The tide is turning overwhelmingly in
> > favor of public alternatives to private broadband. Here's
> > what you need to know, if you'd like low-cost, super-fast
> > Internet in YOUR town...Municipal Broadband Networks.
> If this starts to become really popular, I predict that
> the big broadband companies will get into the business of
> operating these networks. And cities will welcome outsourcing
> this -- why try to operate a complex network when there are
> companies with decades of experience doing it?
Well, maybe. In my experience municipal power utilities already have decades
of experience maintaining power networks, and some of them even operate their
own CATV networks. Coax and fiber networks certainly require installation
methods different from electric power wiring but it's nothing that an
experienced power crew can't learn. The three cities I cited in my previous
post (Chattanooga, Wyandotte, Windom) operate their own power utilities, and
in each case the same utility also runs the broadband network.
Your suggestion that some municipalities might contract a broadband network to
an experienced network operator is more likely in the case of municipalities
that do not own their own power utilities. And you can probably guess which
companies will submit the lowest bids: the incumbent CATV and telco. These
companies already have the rights-of-way in place, and they have the local
knowledge and experience to do the job. Nothing would motivate the Comcasts
and the Verizons to build fiber-based broadband networks like having somebody
else pay for it.
Of course Google will be watching. It might submit its own bid or it might
partner with the incumbent CATV. Such a partnership would be a powerful
competitor: the local knowledge and rights-of-way of the incumbent CATV
combined with Google's data network and storage capabilities and its financial
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 08:11:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [telecom] History--Bell system PBX marketing literature
In reference to the posting about a PBX needing a good home,
here is some historical background material:
For younger readers, the 556 was a cord switchboard for moderately
sized dial PBX's. The 556 was installed along with a dial switch;
various types of dial switches could be used. Up to about 120
lines and 20 trunks could be handled by a single switchboard, two
switchboards could be placed side by side to handle double that.
The 556 was similar to the popular 555, the 555 was a manual PBX.
Both were released after WW II and featured improved circuits
and easier maintenance. Because the 555 was manual (the attendant
handled all calls), it was a stand-alone unit (see below).
In an installation with a 556, extension users could dial calls
between extensions, and where authorized, dialed 9 to make an
outside call. The PBX attendant answered incoming calls and
routed them to the desired extension. The attendant also
provided other assistance as needed, such as placing toll calls,
keeping toll records, and screening calls.
In the 1960s, customers with modest dial PBX's began to replace
their cord switchboards with new desktop consoles with more
automated features. For instance, on a cord switchboard, the
attendant had to take down the cord pair at the conclusion of
a call; on a console, disconnection was automatic. On a console
switchboard, an incoming call could "camp on" to a busy extension
and be automatically connected as soon as the extension was free.
The automation allowed the attendant to have other duties, and
many doubled as the receptionist.
In the 1960s onward, key systems grew more sophisticated and
replaced PBX's in small installations. Key systems didn't
require a dedicated trained PBX attendant.
A Bell System marketing pamphet from 1962 says the following:
"The 556 switchboard gives your business all these advantages:
FAST, SEMI-AUTOMATIC OPERATION
. Your telephone attendant completes calls quickly
and easily with angle-mounted cords and keys.
. Pushbuttons and positive visual control signals
assure fast, accurate communications.
. Expandable to match the capacity of your dial
. Works with all kinds of trunks, tie lines and
auxiliary PBX equipment.
. Attractive, low-silhouette design.
. Can be custom finished to blend with your decor.
. Can be readily installed as an integral part of your
. Compact cord and key shelf add comfort
and operating convenience.
MORE THAN PAYS ITS WAY
. Your attendant handles more traffic in less time.
. Simplified controls assure efficient call handling
and better customer relations.
. Prompt, reliable maintenance at no extra cost.
. Readily expanded or altered without costly delays
. No capital investment.
The 556 Switchboard...gives you faster communications for
the efficient operation of all your business functions--
Administration, Purchasing, Production, Distribution.
. conference calling
. emergency service
. night answering
. tie-line service
. connects to your paging system
. expands with your needs"
* * *
A Bell System marketing brochure for the manual 555 from 1962
focused on cost control:
"PERSONALIZED HANDLING OF INCOMING CALLS
. All incoming calls are screened by your attendant.
. She completes calls quickly with simplified switchboard
. Priority handling of special calls easily arranged.
. After-hours calls can be routed to any "inside"
telephone you select.
CONTROLLED OUTSIDE CALLING
. All "outside" calls are made through your attendant.
. Handles up to 13 outgoing calls at once.
. After-hours "outside" calling is easy to arrange.
. Permits accurate accounting of all calls.
. control all calls.
. maintain accurate accounting."
* * *
The manual 555 obviously saved on the rental of dial switchgear,
but this was offset by the expense of additional PBX operator
time and the delay of an operator completing all calls. Since an
operator was required anyway to handle incoming calls, the
additional time to handle intercom and outgoing calls could
be modest--it depended on the traffic of a particular
installation. Sites with heavy intercom traffic would likely
need a dial PBX, especially if that traffic continued after
the switchboard was closed for the day. As mentioned, the 555
was a very popular switchboard, so plenty of sites were
content to be all manual.
A single 555 could handle up to 120 extensions and 14 trunks.
Two switchboards could be installed side-by-side to double that.
End of telecom Digest Tue, 17 Nov 2015