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The Telecom Digest for Wed, 17 Oct 2018
Volume 37 : Issue 246 : "text" format

Table of contents
As Hurricane Michael recovery begins, telecommunications, electrical power still an issue in Florida PanhandleBill Horne
Fiber Damage Vexes Verizon After Hurricane MichaelBill Horne
Robocall relief: New $100 million system may help frustrated consumersBill Horne
Re: Robert Reich: Living in a New Gilded AgeHAncock4
Re: Finger PointingFred Goldstein
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Message-ID: <20181015141957.GA9277@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2018 10:19:57 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: As Hurricane Michael recovery begins, telecommunications, electrical power still an issue in Florida Panhandle By Patricia Sullivan BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. - Electricity, communications and essential services are slowly being restored to the Florida Panhandle communities that were hobbled by Hurricane Michael on Wednesday, as hundreds of thousands of residents continue to feel isolated and lack electrical power. About 200,000 Floridians are still sleeping in the dark and unable to operate their well water pumps. Many are running out of fuel in their vehicles. While this number has dropped from its peak of about 400,000, much of the power restoration has happened in places like Tallahassee, where the storm was not as severe and where restaurants and stores began reopening this weekend. The hardest-hit counties in the Panhandle remain in a primitive state. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/as-hurricane-michael-recovery-begins-telecommunications-electrical-power-still-an-issue-in-florida-panhandle/2018/10/14/38f1f926-cffb-11e8-8c22-fa2ef74bd6d6_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b241c6b9e62b -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ------------------------------ Message-ID: <20181015141424.GA9240@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2018 10:14:24 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: Fiber Damage Vexes Verizon After Hurricane Michael Damage to a crucial part of the carrier's network caused continued service outages By Sarah Krouse Hurricane Michael has caused such extensive damage to the fiber that underpins Verizon Communications Inc.'s wireless network that it has stymied the carrier's efforts to restore service to parts of the hardest-hit areas of the Florida Panhandle. Verizon's network suffered "an unprecedented amount of fiber damage" in those areas during Hurricane Michael, said spokeswoman Karen Schulz. Wireless service problems have persisted for the carrier in parts of Panama City, Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach. https://www.wsj.com/articles/fiber-damage-vexes-verizon-after-hurricane-michael-1539541926 -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ------------------------------ Message-ID: <20181015142449.GA9318@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2018 10:24:49 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: Robocall relief: New $100 million system may help frustrated consumers Finally, the big phone companies plan to do something major for us little people, rolling out a $100 million system that could eventually reduce the flood of unwanted robocalls to a trickle. Those aggravating calls from phony IRS agents or the disembodied voice offering a "free" resort vacation won't disappear instantly. But starting next year, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile expect to be the first to activate a new national authentication system designed to stop fraudulent and unsolicited calls. They're already testing the system. https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/10/15/robocalls-finally-big-phone-carriers-to-take-promising-step-to-reduce-consumer-scourge/ -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ------------------------------ Message-ID: <c0ccdb64-ad5d-4f4c-ac42-4de56115237c@googlegroups.com> Date: 16 Oct 2018 13:51:33 -0700 From: HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> Subject: Re: Robert Reich: Living in a New Gilded Age On Monday, October 15, 2018 at 10:54:19 AM UTC-4, Neal McLain wrote: > Contrary to Reich's claim, most of those 80% of Americans do indeed have choices > other than the "local cable company": There has been posted here many articles about people living in fringe areas that do not have choices. Also, many people in developed areas (like me) don't have choices either. Verizon told a friend's community they had to have a minimum number of subscribers or they would walk away. Vz walked away, so the only provider is the cable. Happening to a lot of places. > --> In most locations, the local telephone company (DSL, FiOS, etc.) DSL is increasingly inadequate for today's heavy duty websites. I wish that wasn't so, but websites have more and more bloat to them and a heavy-duty broadband connection is needed to access them successfully. (One also needs a newer computer to handle an up-to-date browser). Many places, for whatever reasons, do not have FIOS access. I don't. > --> In most locations, satellite networks (Dish Network and DirecTV), > provided that the downlink antenna can be placed in view of the > satellite signal. If you live in multi-family housing, you might not be allowed to put up a dish. Or, as mentioned (and a friend discovered), the antenna signal is blocked. > --> In some locations, Google Fiber. > --> In some locations, municipal broadband. I think these are relatively rare. In my area at least, Comcast has a lot of political power and would fight hard to prevent municipal broadband. [snip] ------------------------------ Message-ID: <b10fc764-30b3-9b18-cc1a-04bbc96673b8@ionary.com> Date: 15 Oct 2018 17:38:01 -0400 From: "Fred Goldstein" <invalid@see.sig.telecom-digest.org> Subject: Re: Finger Pointing On 10/13/2018 4:35 PM, HAncock4 wrote: > On Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 11:33:31 AM UTC-4, Fred Goldstein wrote: > >> I co-wrote a book about the new electronic PBXs in the late 1970s. It >> is an area where Ma Bell was way, way behind the curve. > > Would you have the exact citation for the book? I'd like to see if > it's on worldcat.org > Almost certainly not there. It was called Dimension PBX and Alternatives, and was put together by Economics & Technology Inc., a small consulting firm that I was working for. They didn't "publish" the book in the usual sense, but distributed it as a "report" at a rather higher price. ... > > According to the Bell Labs records, Bell introduced several PBX's in > its last years just before Divestiture (at various points). The > internals varied. > > On the low-end, several new key systems were introduced that allowed > small PBX users to switch over to a key system. This included the > Comkey 416, the Comkey 718 series, Horizon, and Merlin. > Those were electronic key telephone systems (EKTS), replacements for the relay-based 1A2 key systems that had been ubiquitous. They had some PBX features though. > Our office had a Comkey 718 and it was pretty slick. > > On the PBX side, the new systems had plug-in units to allow easy > growth and feature flexibility. Instead of hard wiring new selectors > or wired logic, they'd just pop in circuit cards to provide a specific > optional service feature or more capacity. > > Some of the newer PBX's included: > > 770A PBX 40 to 400 stations, multiple features IIRC the 770 was an electromechanical crossbar. It may have had some solid-state components in its marker, but I never had my hands on one. This predated computer control. > > 800A up to 80 stations, basic or advanced service and traffic load > > 801A up to 40 trunks, 270 stations, mid range system > > 805A up to 18 trunks, 57 stations low cost basic system > > 812A up to 2000 lines advanced system > These were again pre-computer semi-electronic analog systems. By 1980 they were dinosaurs. > No. 101 ESS remote switching; full services. Otherwise known as the Edsel of the Bell System. This was a remote module hung off of a 1ESS, with an analog switch matrix. The idea (ca. late 1960s) was that computers themselves were really, really expensive, so the processor in the 1ESS would be timeshared to run some 101s too, for Centrex-CU service, mostly. It didn't work worth a hoot'n'holler and the few that were installed were, AFAIK, pulled pretty quickly. > > What anyone recall how these Bell PBX's compared in terms of price, > performance, and reliability against independent systems-- from the > point of view of the customer? (I don't think customers cared whether > the PBX was digital or analog, indeed, if it was electro-mechanical or > electronic. They wanted reliability and a good price.) > > Thanks. > All of those were totally uncompetitive with the stuff that began to come out ca. 1975, when computerized machines took off. Some of the earliest "interconnect" PBXs were fine machines too -- recall that the "independent" telcos didn't buy from WECo, so there were other suppliers, like GTE Automatic Electric, ITT, Stromberg-Carlson, and Northern Electric (later Nortel) that interconnects could buy from. > My only experience with non Bell systems was very limited. I knew of > only one company who bought in a non-Bell PBX pre-1983. The price > saving was substantial. But the PBX was not reliable and eventually > had to be removed. > Not a good sample. Maybe they had an early Tele-Resources TR/32. That was a small analog PBX that didn't hold up well. Or some similar stuff. But by 1983 there was a ton of good non-Bell stuff. From 1980 to 1985 I was DEC's "interconnect guy", in their corporate telecom dept., ordering the non-Bell PBXs; they had been a Bell shop with a ton of Dimensions put in between 1976 and 1980. I followed the market quite closely. Plenty of good stuff out there from Nortel, Rolm, Mitel, and others. > I once came across an _old_ Kellogg PBX. I thought it was built very > poorly compared to equivalent Bell PBX's. But it may not have been a > fair comparison. > That was an old-line "indie" brand, gone by the late 1970s. ITT may have owned them at the end. > > In the 1960s, Automatic Electric acquired the Leich Company which sold > PBX's. I don't know how good they were. Here are some catalogs. > (This is earlier than our discussion, but shown for comparative > purposes.) > > https://www.telephonecollectors.info/index.php/browse/bruce-crawford-library/leich/12259-ae-leich-40-60d-pax-brochure-nov63-r/file > > (see pg 84:) https://www.telephonecollectors.info/index.php/browse/document-repository/catalogs-manuals/leich-2/12519-leich-line-supplies-and-telephone-equipment-catalog-1960-92pp-tci-ocr-r/file > Leich was another old-line vendor to the indies. I think its specialty was the LXP-4 "All Relay" small CO switch, which in the mid-century competed with Strowgers for some rural markets. But it was from an era that long predated "interconnect" and competitive PBXs. There's a long story about Antelope, which became System 85, but it doesn't fit here, and I'm not expert on it. -- Fred R. Goldstein k1io fred "at" ionary.com ------------------------------ ********************************************* End of telecom Digest Wed, 17 Oct 2018

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