Communications Distribution Rights [cr-95/9/21]


Sender: •••@••.••• (Allan Bradley)

My name is Allan Bradley I am the Principal in a technology consulting firm
called ConsulMetrix, Inc. or CMI.  For the last two (2) years we have been
establishing an innovative firm dedicated to the modeling of advanced
information architectures.  Through this process we have also come up with
a unique intellectual property, namely NTPM or Network Transition Process
Methodology.  The following is our attempt to place the importance of the
focus of our services to city's, the state and the nation's economic and
sociological future.  It is our opinion that the next few years in
telecommunications will dictate the playing field in how information is
delivered given the way we work, function and prosper on municipal, state
and national community levels.


Although communications today is a complex subject for the general public
to digest,  historical analogies do exist.  The most simplest manner in
which the explaination of  "information superhighway" (I dislike this term,
but for the sake of discussion) issues can be compared is with the railroad
industry of the nineteenth century.  As many stereotypes in this era have
shown, a few "land barons" generally knew the repercussion, values and
layout of routes as well as the distribution of the railroad infrastructure
aspects ahead of time and consequently created dynasties.  Unfortunately,
the occupational land owners, farmers and ranchers, etc.  at the time
previous to these railroad routes allocations  rarely capitalized on
distribution aspects and often failed to gain the potential return certain
railroad infrastructure "distribution rights" may have brought.

Communications Distribution Rights

With the advent of ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) technologies, the
connectionless (datagram) oriented data networks of the past are giving way
to the "connection oriented" internetworks of the future.  Connection
oriented networks are required in order to deliver the predictable
bandwidth necessary for multi-media (voice, video, data images, etc.)
applications.  This seemingly innocuous difference in communications
transport technology (connectionless vs.  connection) is an epic event in
the potential effect in the way society may define or capitalize on it's
own information technology attributes and future return.   Fundamentally,
communications transport technology has transitioned from an access media
approach to a distribution media approach - a very key distinction.

I am not suggesting  a rhetorical debate on the "information superhighway"
or Internet commercial usage issues, this horse has  been well beaten,
however there is a very critical aspect that has been either intentionally
or unintentionally overlooked and that is the empowerment of individual
communities and enterprises to standardize thier own distribution values.
The Internet is the global community network, but what is being determined
for the proverbial community - the individual community network?

The issue is Communications Distribution Property rights.  Why there are no
objective working models of new technology infrastructure distribution
allocations?  When something as important as the way we will function as a
society is at stake, why aren't there any models?  We make cars, space
shuttles, stock portfolios - everything under the sun, all with models to
determine cause and effect.  Where are the information distribution models
cause and effect? The first problem is perception,  the general notion is
that communications infrastructure is an access medium that it is the
responsibility of the phone, vendors and cable companies to provide access
- this is the incomplete view, it is now also a distribution medium that
can be initiated by communities and privately financed.  Secondly, a false
conception is that standards/government bodies are generating the models of
vendor interconnectivity.  This is commonly true on the physical and lower
logical layers (with the exception of some control aspects) , however
end-to-end connectivity in a practical multimedia connection oriented
communications environment will have inherent vendor specific propriety and
will tend to lock clients into long term solutions approaches which is
causing delay in implementing multimedia community solutions along with
cost.  Thirdly,  phone companies, cable companies and vendors do not want
to relinquish control on distribution models, because now is a good time to
be the railroad or the "land baron" and not the farmer.


Examples of the benefits of having a communication distribution model for
site specific buildings, community infrastructures as well as enterprise
specific infrastructures like education, healthcare, government etc. :

1. With a model client's can shop the best deal approach with vendor to
vendor apples-to-apples comparisons based on neutral and enterprise
specific values and assure open systems.

2. A communications distribution model will  allow accurate cost
allocations  so  clients may finance very expensive communications
technology as a monthly fee or as an outsource cost effectively. (This
could assist in spreading communication costs to deprived areas of the city
and society to allow access on the information superhighway that vendors,
cable companies or phone companies won't capitalize truly advanced
technologies to invest in).

3. Models will determine cause and effect prior to millions of dollars
being allocated as opposed to having personal individual technology biases
in determining critical long term aspects that affect the general tax
paying population. (Healthcare distribution automation, city infrastructure

4. The common articulation of infrastructures for security, video, phone,
data, etc. - At this time most of all of these networks are being designed
individually wasting millions of dollars in retrofit. (Networking is always
in a state of flux or transition)

5. There are many instances of government waste in the range of millions
upon millions of dollars, because bureaucrats rely on vendors that inject
self interest controls to technology issues.  There also numerous  examples
of state, city and the nation technologies systems procured and by the time
they are utilized they are out of date, miss-allocated and close to
becoming antiquated.

6. Fairness in a de-regulated communications market is based on the
accurate allocation of infrastructure privatization and the models that
determine objective allocation.

Example Topics

1.  With deregulation with respect to the RBOCs most have invested hundreds
of millions of dollars in massive fiber optic infrastructures - arguably
with some investment of rate payer revenues.  What rights do ratepayers
have with regard to these infrastructures when all is deregulated and what
onus do the RBOCs have to their respective state and local governments with
regard to these infrastructures given a new emphasis on the long distance
and information services markets.

2. Many cities in the past few years have negotiated Right of Way contracts
with phone companies and bypass companies for reciprocal connectivity or a
reduction in communications fees.  How are these Right of Way agreements
benefiting the local communities when they may generate millions of dollars
for these communications companies? Especially with current city budget
dilemmas in education, healthcare and community services.

3. Many university campuses are allowing more outside tenant services for
students and corporate sponsorships.  While many are very positive in
nature, how does this affect the emphasis on objective education and campus
media distribution and what affect is it going to have in the academic
environment of the future.

4. What are the impacts of an AT&T, RBOCs and major institutions are going
have on the Internet.  What will be the balances of commercialization and
unfettered free thought as well as the affect to small and medium Internet
service providers and communications services companies.

5. Given the 500 channel television, what are the policies, regulations and
engineering aspects of communities and residences establishing their own
community broadcast or local internetwork.

The communications industry in the post WW II market was initiated on a
(PT&T /AT&T) government bureaucratic organizational model with heavy FCC
controls.  The break-up of AT&T and the regulatory aspects of the RBOCS in
the eighties focused mainly on telephony and rate payer relationships as
defined by various state commissions.   A result of industry deregulation
is that most of these state commissions will be redefined, probably, as a
part of the state executive offices.  It is the general position of our
companie's charter that deregulation is a good thing that should be
continually fostered for the benefit of new start-ups, small to medium
organizations that may not have the multi-billion dollar or lobbying
resources that major communications organizations have at their disposal.
Furthermore, it should a function of this or other forums to be a
"watchdog" with regard to a deregulated market , that no one commercial
organization or a coalition of commercial organizations imposes an unfair
market advantage and becomes a "defacto regulatory body" in monopolizing
advanced technology distribution standards.

It is also somewhat disconcerting that the U.S. Government has chosen sex
and violence as the symbolic topic with regard to recent legislation in
communications.  Although this is a very important topic, there are many -
many other aspects to HR -1555 that need to be examined and discussed by
industry knowledgeable individuals.


 As an aware property owner may do a mineral right survey on their property
to assess its true value - so shall a similar requirement may be needed to
establish communications distribution property right values.  Since 1993
the State of California has established MPOE, (Minimum Point of Entry) to
give more control to the communications user and IRD (Implementation Rate
Design) to allow options in local phone exchange.  To the general public
the result is seemingly more confusion.  But the engendered power of the
user - the power of choice - is of great value if an appropriate and
objective reference is established and maintained.  This new power and
choice  can be squandered if there are no accurate and objective site
specific models to simplify this complex but critical standard of
reference.  Because once these rights are gone or are given away, it will
be very costly to have them be returned, if at all.

To some organizations the subject of Communications Distribution Rights may
sound frightening as a reversal to regulatory issues of decades ago.
However, they do exist and they should exist for the benefit of everyone
including the mass media commercial communication industry.  They exist,
but unfortunately, they are not defined, not for the brave new world of
telecommunications and the information age.  Society must get involved to
define the higher standard - the intelligent communications user beyond
government symbolism and the commercial soundbyte.  I cannot think of more
purposeful use of this type of forum than to discuss and determine these
rights if only just to identify some of them and acknowlegde what should
discussed in the open and not in private backroom meetings.  If we don't
then somone else will - whoever that will be

ConsulMetrix, Inc.
6601 Center Drive West, Suite 500
Los Angeles, Ca 90045
1 800 863 8749

ConsulMetrix, Inc.
Setting the Standards in Technology Consulting


Sender: •••@••.••• (Allan Bradley)

The Internet is not the Macrocosm for Society's Communications Future

The point to categorize networked "information" is core to issues and
aspects of multi-media communications and the "Information Age", the
"Information SuperHighway", etc - as well as Communications Distribution
Rights - however they may be defined. I think networked information has
gone through a major transformation in the last few years with little
notice philosophically and socialogically. Networked information in various
forms is tomorrow's currency. What is of significance now is that the
foundation for society's information networking future is being allocated
today. In practical communications oriented terms networked information can
be defined by its intrinsic network importance; for example there is
*ubiquitous* network information as an inalienable right to us all (as
typically defined by reconstituted chat) - *community* information as a
discrete topic to the interested few (channel focused,
commercial-noncommercial, etc.) and there is *mandatory* information that
is a critical part of the basic functioning individual as to define
standard of living and "information currency" levels. A lot of discussion
has gone into the former two issues, but not a lot in the latter.

Mandatory information constitutes information services such as remote
healthcare, remote education, occupational telecommuting, basic
governmental political frameworks participation, financial transactional
services and world events interaction. In short, most of what we value as a
contributing citizen identity function today, will probably be reflected as
our future on-line persona and social value.

May 21, 1927 Charles Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris. In that single
event our world was made considerably smaller, logically. I don't think
people at the time thought about mass transportation around the world in
hours instead of days. I don't think anyone really cared how it may have
heralded new economic realities and cultural exchange. The world just
became smaller unbeknownst to that generation at the time. Unfortunately,
an interesting side effect is that as the world gets smaller our personal -
self interest worlds sometimes tend to become smaller as a consequence.

As of year or so ago, I believe we all went through another transformation
of sort and the world has gotten exponentially smaller once again. The
issue is communications access vs. distribution technology. Connectionless
protocols (the Internet) define an access medium which tends to emphasize
the choice of the user to "sign-on" to what ever service is of interest. It
is like we are outside the system and we can choose to connect or "address"
whenever or whatever we feel the need to access information. Anybody should
be able to access -so what's the issue.

This is not the new communications paradigm.

The new communications paradigm is connection oriented protocols required
to provide end-to-end connectivity (such as ATM) for voice, video and data
transportation. An interesting aspect to this is that network
communications is coming full circle in that it is circuit or switched
based, with the exception this time it will be a world-wide fabric. It is
extraordinary on a cultural, philosophical and sociological level what this
means. We don't really access information anymore given a world switching
fabric - we are the system and immersed in the ebb and flow of information
currents whether it is accessed or not. The world has become the global
microprocessor and our individual relationships to the various gate arrays,
function masks and machine codes may just determine our individual place in
the global society.

Who controls the *mandatory* networked information as relates to the
individual in this scenario the foundations of which have been established
today in a deregulated market. An interesting analogy is that networked
information, in my opinion, has mimicked sociopolitical themes. I suppose
the beginnings (in this century) of information networking from a political
perspective would start with Kaosnet, the Hawaiian radio station protocol
as an example of a basic free for all -The early polling protocols from
Burroughs and IBM's SNA which was a Fascist approach of sorts in that the
mainframe controlled everything - and LAN peer-to-peer protocols Ethernet,
Token Ring, etc. one could argue as being Communistic. From what I can see
the new paradigm connection oriented protocols are Capitalistic in nature
in that they will be channel focused and engineered to generate profit. The
Internet is, and I believe will remain, a culmination of all of these
sociopolitical technological aspects.

There is nothing wrong with information networking from a Capitalistic
perspective in my opinion. Moreover I feel communications industry
deregulation is long overdue and more commercialization can breath fresh
air into raising the technological quotient of society and will benefit
everyone as a whole. The future, again in my opinion, will be a myriad of
information networked services channel focused to certain demographics as
offered by "ubiquitous or community" information services providers and the
more the better. It is in the equalization of "mandatory" networked
information given a grid or switching fabric allocation across all sections
of society that concerns me as well as the monopolization of network
services providers. Maybe 10% of all networking needs to be allocated for
social community aspects. God knows from a phone company perspective
societies investment has been made. Maybe a new unofficial constitution
that defines the rights of the individual in the information age is
required - The Bill of Communications Distribution Rights. Because
Capitalistic technological approaches, as in society, need to be tempered
by Democratic values as defined by the importance of the individual. As
history has taught us, the market of supply and demand makes its own rules.

Maybe we have it all wrong given our ingrained fear and aversion to the
Orwellian Big Brother concept. My fear isn't that Big Brother is out there
watching us restricting our choices and monitoring our way of life. It is
the inversion. My fear is that we will be a free and unencumbered society
that has no choice but to watch Big Brother.

ConsulMetrix, Inc.
Setting the Standards in Technology Consulting

 Posted by --  Andrew Oram  --  •••@••.••• --  Cambridge, Mass., USA
                 Moderator:  CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)

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