ISDN is the key to future

Originally published in 1992 (Computer Jagat)

Mitchell Kapor, founder of Lotus Development and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), used the keynote address at the Winter ’92 Usenix technical conference to hammer home the EFF’s vision of a civilized network world, with networking for everyone.

Kapor was of the opinion that Integrated Services Digital Network  (ISDN)—a technology considered by many to be obsolete even before it has become widely available— is in fact the key to universal access in  ‘ the      network World. ISDN provides digital service using the same basic equipment used by voice technology. An ISDN connection provides two channels of data at 64 kbps and an additional control channel at 16 KB per second. Voice communication requires 56 KB without compression, and typical highspeed modems attain little more than 9600 or 14400 bps by contrast.

In theory, ISDN should cost no more than voice phone calls, thinks   Kapor.   Many   phone companies already transmit most of their voice by digitizing it and sending it over the 64 kilobit channels that this service can employ. ISDN requires no additional physical equipment unlike the optic multimegabit data connections. It uses the copper wires that are already in place throughout the network world.

Kapor, the founder of Lotus, also pushed for more commercialization of the TCP/IP “Internet” that already hooks together tens of thousands of computer systems in research labs and educational institutions around the world. He offered some free business ideas to the audience, suggesting that people should work to start network service bureaus to allow the exchange of money, and even a network bank that accepted cheques signed with digital signatures. The EFF has recently opened an office in Washington to assist its public policy lobbying efforts. In addition to promoting universal network availability, the EFF has worked to make itself the protector of the network world, assisting those whose rights  ure abused by  law enforce- ment officers who misunderstand or fear computer and network technology.

AT & T has announced a series of new phones that support   ISDN standards. The first such phone is the 8503T ISDN voice terminal, an entry-level set that can compete with the more fully-featured voice and data terminals. These phones will incorprate the new handset specifically designed to meet the recently adopted standards for international use. AT & T will market these in conjution to its current 7500 series on ISDN voice terminals.

—News byte Network

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