Communication Policy Issues for the Coming Computer Utility.

by Paul Baran

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An expanded version of P-3466 (which appeared in [Public Interest], Summer 1967) revised for computer system personnel and users of time-shared computer systems. Remote time-sharing systems are very ill-served by telephone systems designed for voice communication. In some computer utilities now under consideration, communications account for more than half of the system cost. Present FCC regulations prevent computer users or owners from banding together on a time-sharing basis to concentrate their highly intermittent traffic. Radio or microwave transmission promises great efficiency in data transmission and very low costs, if newer forms of signal processing such as spread spectrum are allowed and if licensing red tape can be reduced. The very high channel use of a shared data link provides a strong case in the competition for space on the frequency spectrum. Federal licensing of system personnel should be considered, to protect users' privacy. 24 pp.

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