The first session is “Telecommunications Fundamentals” by John Sluder of Western Colorado Community College.
Mr. Sluder provided a quick overview of the history and technology of voice and data. A critical point he made in his presentation is that the twisted pair infrastructure in place in Western Colorado (and throughout much of the nation) is based on a 4 Kbps sampled analog voice signal (64 Kbps sampled digital voice). One constraint suggested by our telecommunications history is that our telecommunications is, in some ways, constrained by design decisions made in the 19th Century. Unfortunately, our imagination is also constrained by historic business models.
Moving into a wireless discussion, Mr. Sluder suggests 4G and LTE are powerful technologies with significant bandwidth potential. However, they are 1st shared and 2nd constrained by the fact that they must connect to the rest of the world through wired networks. Wireless is critical for mobility.After an introduction to the history and technology of the telecommunications, Mr. Sluder turned to some of the business decisions associated with deploying broadband. He suggested broadband business decisions revolve around cost, distance, and density. As part of the presentation, Mr. Sluder turned to a discussion format. The discussion emphasized the fact that rural Colorado depends on subsidies.
Mr. Sluder suggested Telecom 101 as a good introdction to telecommunications book.A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS…
Mr. Sluder suggests that DS3 (about 45 Mbps) is the best we can do on copper – but fiber is virtually unlimited. As we talk about new construction – especially state sponsored construction – we should be talking about fiber construction.Mr. Sluder said, "Competition is a relative term because if there is not a revenue stream the competitors are not going to build out a system.” Open access networks help resolve this situation. One of the faults in our current model of delivering competitive broadband to rural Colorado is the insistence that the service provider and the network owner are the same person. This creates an environment where funds are spent inefficiently. Couldn't the state provide the infrastructure as a public utility and allow multiple service providers to compete?