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Delaware ISDN (fwd)
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Delaware ISDN (fwd)
- From: James Love <email@example.com>
- Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 14:50:20 -0500 (EST)
I am attaching a plain text copy of the testimony I gave at the PSC Public
4808 Hogan Drive
Wilmington, DE 19808
January 18, 1996
I am a professional, visual artist and a technical expert in
telephony and computer networks.
Bell Atlantic's current ISDN tariff for the State of Delaware is
in violation of the principle of universal access as guaranteed
by the Communications Act of 1934. Bell Atlantic's anti-
competitive pricing widens the gap between the technological
"haves" on the National Information Infrastructure and the
"have-nots" who cannot afford to get on-line.
High pricing discourages the exploration and development of
electronic commerce by small businesses in the State of Delaware,
when consumers cannot afford to get on-line. Small businesses
are going to employ more people in Delaware than is a giant
Competitive pricing of high-speed data communications could
promote telecommuting from offices in the home, and alleviate
automobile congestion on Delaware's streets and highways.
Pricing ISDN service by the minute does not reflect the real cost
of providing the wire connection and the switching service. In
fact, there are technical reasons* why pricing by the minute
could actually consume more of Bell Atlantic's switching
resources than flat-rate pricing would. Flat-rate pricing could
actually reduce the cost to Bell Atlantic of providing ISDN
service. I can support this claim from my own experience.
I have been an ISDN user since March, 1995. In June, 1995 I
relocated from Thousand Oaks, California to the Pike Creek
Valley, Delaware. Somehow, GTE California can wire its service
area, many times larger - both in population and in miles of
wiring - than the entire state of Delaware, and provide two B-
channels of ISDN service for a flat rate of forty-one dollars a
In Delaware, in six months, I have paid Bell Atlantic more than I
would have paid for five years of service in California. I have
paid this for a local telephone call covering eleven miles of
distance - from the Pike Creek Valley to Wilmington. And I have
received for my money half the data transmission speed I had in
California. In Delaware, only one B-channel is more than I can
I think this is unfortunate, because I believe I have valuable
information to provide to the public. I am the originator of a
technique to create physical sculpture of computer-generated
- called "Scientific Visualization" using direct, 3-D mechanical
printers. I can bring computer pictures out from behind the
screen and allow you to hold them in your hands.
I can let a person experience computer graphics, for whom images
on a cathode-ray tube provide no information. These people are
the blind and those with cognitive disabilities. Networked
computers can provide this experience. No television will ever
to this. No corporation has done this. It took the efforts of
an individual on an individual's budget to do this. The Internet
is a collective of somewhere over four million individuals.
The Internet is like truly democratic, multimedia publishing.
The Internet is currently "owned" by everyone and every Internet
site is its own information center. On the Internet, the "media"
is not "them", it is "us".
Letting the Internet fall into the hands of a communications
giant will turn it into the same old "us" and "them" situation we
have in our current print and electronic media. In the Internet,
we have a chance to build a future world which is better than
past worlds. Flat-rate pricing for local telephone connection
will promote this.
The best way to use ISDN service for personal data communication
is currently to use an Internetwork packet router, like an Ascend
Communications Pipeline series product. An internetwork router
is a bridge between a user's Local-Area Network (LAN) (typically
an Ethernet, which may consist of a single computer and the
router) and the Wide-Area Network (WAN) (this is typically the
first-hop connection to the user's up-stream Internet Access
The time required to connect an ISDN call is very short. It is
imperceptible to the user of a desktop, Internet application,
like a World-Wide Web browser (e.g., Netscape Navigator, NCSA
Mosaic, etc.). The Ascend Pipeline 50 has features to
automatically connect a call when the LAN requests packet
to the WAN. Similarly, the Pipeline 50 also has a user-
configurable timer, which governs how long the router will
maintain the ISDN call after the last packet has been transmitted
or received. After this time has expired, the router "hangs up"
the call and waits for the next packet to originate from the LAN.
In a telephone economy in which money is charged per minute of
connection, the information consumer can set the router time-out
very short, to save money when the user is not actively
transmitting. In a situation which is billed by the minute, the
Internet Access Provider will never originate a call to the end
user, even to transact electronic mail, because the Provider will
incur a per-usage cost, while he is most likely charging his
customer a flat monthly rate.
Even though modern electronic mail uses a direct sender-to-
receiver transfer protocol (SMTP), Internet Access Providers
often revert to the old store-and-forward approach in order to
provide a service without incurring per-use cost from the
If an end-user wishes to serve information to the Internet from
his home computer, an economy which bills per minute does not
work. When the Access Provider's router receives packets from
the Internet destined for the end-user, the end-user's computer
and the information he means to publicly serve, are simply not
available. If the end-user wishes to be available, he must set
his router so that a call is always connected, regardless of
whether or not data is flowing.
In a flat-rate ISDN telephone economy, it costs the Internet
Access Provider nothing extra to originate calls to an end-user
when requests from the Internet are made to the user. Calls can
be set up on request in either direction and terminated minutes
after the data flow stops. A consumer's virtual data connection
will not consume switching channels when no data is actually
flowing. I believe this scheme actually uses less of a telephone
company's resources than a scheme which bills for time.
Attachments: Professional Resume of Stewart Dickson
4808 Hogan Drive
Wilmington, DE 19808
February 20, 1996
P.O. Box 646
Wilmington, DE 19896-0001
I have received from Bell Atlantic a disconnect notice regarding
my account number 302 369-2050 983 - an ISDN circuit which is
connected to my place of residence at the above address.
This connection has been the portal into my Internet World-Wide
Web site, http://www.mathart.com since August, 1995. The content
I have been presenting here is unique, educational and I believe
has value. My site has been rated in Point Communications Top 5%
of all Internet sites. My site is a Pavilion of the 1996
Internet World Expo, being held by the Internet Multicasting
Service. I have been attempting to support this site with
commercial ventures, and other sources of funding. I have
I can no longer afford to maintain this telecommunication link.
I have written letters to the Bell Atlantic ISDN Sales and
Technology Center, the Delaware Public Service Commission, the
Office of the Public Advocate and my upstream Internet provider,
Performance Systems International - protesting Bell Atlantic's
pricing policy of charging for ISDN by the minute of use for a
local connection. This protest has proven futile.
I bought my ISDN internetwork routing hardware when I lived in
the GTE California LATA, which did not charge for usage time. I
protest the regional monopoly which can set prices in such an
arbitrary manner. I protest the cost of high-speed data
communication. The reality of which is so far askew from the
vision of telecommunication Bell Atlantic is selling in its
The turn of events can only mean that the value of my work is
obviously insufficient to justify its existence. My life is my
work. My work is dying. You are killing me with it. As of
February 26, 1996 my voice will be silenced.
Stewart Dickson VOX (302) 731-2718
firstname.lastname@example.org FAX (302) 731-7482
http://mathart.com http://www.wri.com/~mathart (mirror)