Re: 'Phone Barons seek to control CU (what's new?)

Dennis J. Streveler (
Tue, 07 May 1996 09:07:28 -0700

At 07:19 AM 5/7/96 -0500, you wrote:
>CU users might want to check this out.
>There is a petition before the FCC to regulate voice and video traffic on
>the internet, because they are seen as competition to the nation's
>telephone carriers. This can have direct, adverse impact on CU-SeeMe users
>as well as users of other connectivity technologies.
>Information about this petition can be found at
>The deadline for comments on this petition is May 8, an e.mail address is
>given for filing comments.
><>< < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < <
>| Elliott Mitchell -- Learning Technology Center
>| Peabody College of Vanderbilt University
>| Nashville, Tennessee

Hello Elliott,

Yes that FCC petition is a bunch of hogwash. But, are you sure it includes
things like CU? I thought it dealt specifically with "telephony" which does
not specifically mention video. Isn't that true? If you've studied the
petition, I'd appreciate your letting us CU'ers all know about its
ramifications were it to succeed.

As for internet telephony, I think it is rather ironic. Have you thought
about this? -- When you use an audio product, let's say Internet Phone:

1) you speak, an analog signal is produced by your microphone
2) the speach is digitized using a audio codec (compressor-decompressor)
3) the digital information is fed to your modem, which turns right around
and makes it analog again
4) it travels to the other modem where it is turned back to digital
5) then it is decompressed and fed to your speakers as an analog signal again

So it's

analog -> digital -> analog* -> digital* -> analog.

Wow! Well at least when we get rid of modems and go ISDN and other digital
technologies, we'll get rid of the asterisked steps! Now that's when things
get interesting, because when we do that, we will essentially have the same
steps the telco uses to transmit voice!

So, then the real difference will be in network topologies, between a
packet-switched network (like the Internet) and directly routed networks
(the phone companys'). Unfortunately, when all is said and done, the former
will always be more reliable and redundant (remember that the Internet was
designed to withstand thermonuclear war!) and the latter which will not have
those annoying delays as your packets are separated, routed and then

So the bottom line is I don't know what the fuss is all about. The former
will always win on cost, since packet-switching is a very efficient network
topology, and the latter will always win on speed, since direct-routed
networks always assure that information will be delivered fast.

So, "why can't we all just learn to live together"? :)


Dennis J. Streveler, Ph.D., | Internet:
Systems Consultant | CIS: 71036,1645
| CUSeeMe:
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"International Software Development | 415 239-1441
Methodologies" | 415 469-9476 fax
"Human-Computer Interface Design +------------------------------
for Casual Users" | 127 Lake Merced Hill
| San Francisco CA 94132 USA

My job? To send the appropriate electrons hurtling around the globe.