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Re: IP: Pac Bell says Net use may collapse phone system

  At 11:42 PM 10/24/96 -0400, Robert Berger wrote:
  >The core of what Pac Bell claims is true: On a dialup system (i.e. the phone
  >network that your phones are connected to) there is limited switching capacity
  >(the multi-million dollar 5ESS or DMS-100s in most Central Offices) and
  >trunking capacity (the bandwidth capacity between Central Office Switches).
  >The ratio of lines from homes/offices to switching/trunking capacity has been
  >based on a long history of calls being used for voice that last only a few
  >minutes on average. The ratio has traditionally been very high (many more lines
  >to switching/trunking capacity). Adding more swtiching and trunking capacity is
  >very expensive compared to the cost of adding more lines.
  Probably not true:  Local loops to end subscribers are the big-money item.
  Intra-switch bandwdith is dirt cheap.  Local trunks are way cheaper than they
  used to be, thanks to optical fiber.
  >When a large number of lines start having phone calls that last significantly
  >longer than a few minutes radically shift the required ratio of lines to
  >switching/trunking. To keep phone service ready and realiable (ie the amount of
  >time it takes from when you pick up a phone to when you get dialtone or to not
  >get a fast busy signal when you dial), the phone company would have to ether do
  >SIGNIFICANT buildout of switches and trunking OR (and this was not discussed in
  >the article or probably the press release) develop a system to have calls
  >destined for on-line services / internet services BYPASS the traditional
  >switches and trunks.
  Again, *duration* of calls isn't important!  TOTAL MINUTES OF USE PER MONTH
  per line is more important.  But on hunt groups, the average usage per month
  has always been predictable, per traffic tables:  You install hunt groups
  (PBX trunks, ACDs, modems, etc.) based on the number of simultaneous calls
  you expect.  Duration's not an issue, total number of calls up at once is.
  >The proper approach is the one that phone companies should be pushed to do. The
  >RBOCS have already put out a Request for Quote on such systems. Nortel has been
  >the first to respond
  >but there are many other companies gearing up to address this problem.
  Gag.  Cough.  Choke.  I presume your company, Internex, is not a dial-up
  ISP, or at least does not consider that to be an important part of your
  business.  What Internet Thruway is all about is this:  It's just NorTel's
  Rapport dial-up server, their recent attempt to horn in on Ascend's huge MAX
  market base, only they sell it to telcos.  Then telco BECOMES the ISP.
  Users dial the telco's Rapport, and their IP packets are then routed to the
  rest of the world via Frame Relay or ATM links to other (upstream) ISPs.  In
  other words, Internet Thruway is about extending telco's effective monopoly
  on dialtone to include a monopoly on dial-up Internet services!  Internet
  Thruway connects to the CO via the usual PRI on the trunk side of the
  switch, just like an ISP's Ascend.
  >This means that there is NO NEED TO CHARGE ACCESS FEES TO ISPs (unless they
  >insist on using dialup when there are bypass services in place). Some say that
  >instead of charging enhanced service providers, they should just drop the
  >access fess for everyone, but thats another story.
  Right.  Why charge access fees to somebody who's out of business?  The "ISP"
  is left to operate POP and News servers, maybe some web proxies.
  We at BBN have a large contract with AOL to provide dial-in service.  We
  don't provide them with POP, News, or web servers -- that's their business.
  We do provide Ascends attached to telco PRIs, and haul the bulk traffic back
  to them. I'd rather not be told that Bell Whomever has taken over our
  contract.  I think we can do it better.
  Fred R. Goldstein      fgoldstein@bbn.com  
  BBN Corp.              Cambridge MA  USA    +1 617 873 3850