TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bell Divestiture

Re: Bell Divestiture
20 Jun 2005 00:00:00 EDT

Robert Bonomi wrote:

> Revisionist history at work. Computer "time sharing" did not exist

> _at_all_ before mid-1964.

It was running at Dartmouth College -- the pioneer -- in 1963.

It quickly became a commercial service.

Let's remember too that dataphones were coming into use. In 1964 my
bank installed an on-line teller system. The work was developing in
the 1950s and coming into actual service in the early 1960s

Let's also remember that on-line or "real-time" computer processing
was developed and used in the 1950s and gradually rolled out to wide
service in the early 1960s. IBM lagged behind on this for commercial

> By 1968, capacity was up to several dozen simultaneous-use
> terminals.

By 1968 even public schools had dial up time sharing terminals.
Soon mini computers were providing widespread time sharing use
in the early 1970s. Big LIFE magazine article about it in 1969.

> IBM didn't have an interactive time-sharing system offering until
> late 1967.

IBM was a late-comer on this and time sharing was a lesser priority.
Other computers, such as GE, had it out.

>> That is a tariff issue. Rates for a business and residential line are
>> based on expected use. A non-profit is still considered a business.
>> Seems to me a high volume BBS should've been classified as a business
>> line due to high volume of use.

> _WHAT_ business?? In Randy's case it *was* just a hobby. No income,
> no membership 'fees', no nothing. All the expenses came out of his
> personal pocket.

Repeat: A non-profit is still considered a business. Who paid for
it wasn't the issue. Bell was correct to charge business rates for
this service.

> Well, it was the "Baby Bells" that couldn't handle the demand.

That is irrelevent. We're talking about the pre-divesture Bell
System. Once divesture was decided (even before it happened), it was
a whole different ball game.

> Same management, same planning process.

NO! Once divesture was decided upon everything the Bell System once
stood for turned on its head. The old priorities and ways of doing
business no longer mattered a bit. The "Planning" style under the
Bell System was completely obsolete by divesture because all the
_rules_ AND _players_ had changed. There was no longer a seamless tie
with all those involved in providing service to a customer.

As mentioned, large organizations had to change, too, and spend a lot
of money hiring telecom people to do what previously was done
automatically. The process became far more complex and expensive.

As others pointed out, in the new model there was more _specific_
cost/profit control, so each tech unit had to know what it was getting
into and what it would get out of it.

> Speed of call set-up is irrelevant to the number of
> _connected_and_running_ calls that can be handled

Sorry, but faster speed makes for a more efficient system. Faster
speed allows a more sophisticated route selection and alternative
paths. Control and connection need not even be in the same physical
place. Connection facilities could be shared among a wider audience
because the fast connection gear can make use of many more choices.

>> Regulated monopolies were NOT _guaranteed_ a minimum rate of return.

Others confirmed that statement.

> Western Union and most of the railroads were 'regulated common
> carriers'. Not regulated monopolies.

The Bell System was a common carrier. Railroads had "monopolies" in
their service territories; they were hurt because those service
territories were very narrowly defined in a very different age (the
distance a farm wagon could travel).

> You are claiming that these features were available on Bell-provided
> PBX gear on customer premises, before they were available on
> Bell-provided PBX gear in the central office.

Go read the Bell Labs Eng & Sci history book and you'll see what they
were doing. Go read Ball Labs Records for the 1960s and you'll see
what they were doing.

> Hint: the SxS _was_not_capable_ of *native* touch-tone operation, a
> front end translation from touch-tone to pulse was required.

Right. That contradicts your claim that Touch Tone actually saved the
company money.

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: AES: "Re: Bell Divestiture"
Go to Previous message: "Re: Bell Divestiture"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page