Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

... edited by Barry Mishkind - the Eclectic Engineer    



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Quoted: "It is no secret that with the larger number of cell phones than landlines in use the local/regional phone companies are pulling out more copper. In 2017 alone, 20 state legislatures voted to permit AT&T to end landline service. POTS may soon be just a memory."

This gives me chills.

As my IT friends say, "Data you only have 3 backups of is data you don't care about." I think the same attitude toward redundancy goes for the PSTN: communication methods must be redundant, whether that means redundancy-in-kind, or by alternate means.

Digital services, whether cell, WiFi or broadband, are too easily disrupted by too many methods to rely solely upon, in my opinion. By contrast, the "old-fashioned" copper network was hardened over the course of more than a century with multiple levels of redundancy, both in infrastructure (hard lines), routing (multiple switching networks) and transmission method (analog, digital, copper, fiber, microwave - if there's any of that left!). It's even self-powered, with local switch battery backups that can last for weeks.

The cellular network lacks any protection of that kind - when the utility feed to a cell tower drops, there's [usually] no backup power.

I know: profits above all. But man, the loss of the copper-based PSTN would be a huge step backward in public safety and actual utility, as we've seen during recent natural disasters where cell grids went offline but the copper network functioned perfectly for emergency communica-tion. IMO, the legislators allowing this to happen are either stupidly short-sighted, or have been paid off to vote this way. And the FCC and FTC are complicit too - paper tigers since the 1990s.

Sometimes I just don't know where all the smarts went. Certainly not to the Statehouses. :p

And yes, I keep a copper landline in my house. Service has degraded a bit since AT&T "upgraded" the local switch from crossbar to digital, and it costs me $25 a month for which I get mostly robocalls. But when the power is out (as has happened here during fires, storms and earthquakes), the d*mned thing works. My cellphone often doesn't.

end rant!

Clark Novak
Radio Marketing

    More thoughts:
Loosing POTS Copper? - Clark Novak
Transcribed - Ted Thayer
Do Not Leave with Your Passwords - Gil Gillivan



Some older letters to the Editor

By Ted Thayer

Transcribed.  I remember. 
All the commercial content at KBZY Salem OR was transcribed on 10 inch discs back when I was the mid-morning man. That was different from the small 1/4 inch tape reels prevalent at the time as well as the new cart machines. Imagine cueing up a record to play the spot! As I recall, we cut the spots on Ampex tape machines and then transcribed them onto the discs.
Today 550 KFYI Phoenix AZ is back using "Portions of the following are transcribed" as the entro to their newscasts!

Ted Thayer


By Gil Gillivan

Great piece on not dying with your passwords.

So very true.  And a nice reminder of the 3-2-1 backup.

Nice job.

Stay safe!!
Gil Gillivan



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