Phone gossips caught by the Net
Saturday 02 November 1996
The explosive growth of the Internet, which has doubled in size in the past year, and today has more than seven times as many computers connected to it than in 1993, is leading to blocked local telephone exchanges in parts of the US.
Calls to access the Internet are typically much longer than voice calls - an average of 20 minutes rather than three, though some Internet sessions can last hours. And the rapid growth in Internet use has overwhelmed the ability of the local telephone companies to upgrade exchange capacity.
The result is engaged signals or long silences before the dial tone is available, a phenomenon which technicians call "contention". Bellcore, the research arm of the US local telephone companies, says that the growth of Internet use "poses an immediate threat to the capacity of the public telephone network".
In California, home to Los Angeles, San Francisco and the high concentration of high-tech industries in the area south of San Francisco known as Silicon Valley, Pacific Bell, the local telephone company, has found that one in 10 "Internet" calls lasts six hours or more. As a result, 1 per cent of callers in California face a delay in getting a line; but at times this year the figure has hit 16 per cent.
However, the problem is unlikely to be repeated in Europe. A spokesman for BT said: "We're not seeing anything like this at the moment. And it's worth noting that the `backbone' telephone network in the US isn't overloaded. It's all at the local level." The problem in California was the result of "a very high concentration of Internet usage in a small area with a network that was designed for voice", he added.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Do you know this man? Amnesia sufferer found in park pleads for help in identifying who he is
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...