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Eighth annual Com-Nets held in Washington, DC.

Eight Annual Com-Nets Held in Washington, DC Attendance at the four days of seminars and three days of vendors' exhibits hit a new high for the 1986 Communication Networks Conference & Exposition. Back again at the Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC, the eighth annual event held January 28 through 31 registered 15,705 telecom industry representatives, with 3,200 registered for both the conference and the exposition, which included 310 vendor exhibits. Last year's total attendance was more than 10,000, with 250 vendor exhibits.

Running concurrently at the Convention Center was the new allied event, Communications Marketplace, designed to bring together vendors and quantity buyers of communications equipment and services.

Among keynote speakers was Mark Fowler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, who presented his views on further deregulation of the industry.

After counting up the many blessings of competition, he told how "we can approach the ultimate plan of a regulation-free marketplace.... Its essence is this: all telecommunications services will be deregulated as to both entry and rates, once an open architecture is achieved for all services. That includes access, enhanced offerings and local facilities. Coupled with this would be the absolute requirement that universal service would not be diminished at all."

The full text of Fowler's keynote remarks begins on page 74.

Terry Lautenbach, president of IBM's newly formed Communication Products Division, also was a keynote speaker, describing "IBM Direction of a new age in telecommunications," he said. "And, as the industry grows in importance, it also grows in size. Many estimate it to be at the $250-billion mark today and headed for $400 billion by the end of the decade."

Looking to the future, Lautenbach foresees that "as we put more and more computing power and storage into workstations, we will significantly alter the structure of information systems."

He said that "This redistribution of computing power, coupled with the availability of common transport media and common interconnection protocols, will place significant demands on the telecommunications industry. Moreover, the increasing interest of customers in video and motion graphics will require much-larger band-widths between workstations and host systems. The networks that we have today are just the beginning."

The IBM executive advised his listeners that "IBM is committed to four basic goals: embracing international and national standards, recognizing the need for connectivity among vendor products, supporting open communications architectures, and participating in the industry as a worldwide supplier."

But, he added, "Just in case you think that by stating these goals that we are abandoning SNA, let me be clear about our commitment to SNA... SNA is, and wil remain, fundamental to IBM's telecommunications direction.... We recognize that our customers have invested in a variety of products and architectures from different vendors. As a result, we intent to emphasize connectivity, not only between IBM and Rolm products, but to other vendors' offerings as well. Achieving full connectivity means opening the architecture of network offerings...the capability to attach non-SNA products to an SNA network is especially important."

Lauterbach explained that "We support (OSI's) goal of providing a common set of OSI protocols by which all participants can communicate with each other.

He also noted that "The newer high-speed digital switched services that are being offered or proposed today are very important to our customers. ISDN will promote a uniform access interface to these services and facilities. This approach could simplify users' communications attachments and stimulate demand. We intend to support ISDN."

In the case of voice connectivity, he said, "There are two very clear advantages we believe that PBXs can offer to the data world. First,. they can switch data devices, allowing access to mutliple applications. In addition, by providing port contention, the PBX offers potential cost savings. And, obviously, the PBX can provide access to the public network."

Lauterbach advised his audience that "In addition to this basic level of connectivity, we see requirements for application programs in the data processing system to communicate with application programs residing in the PBX."

The ninth annual Communication Networks show will return to the Washington Convention Center February 9 through 12.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Morken, Cal
Publication:Communications News
Date:Mar 1, 1986
Words:680
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