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FTS2000: world's biggest private network.

FTS2000

The federal government's FTS2000 network will have a significant influence on the commercial sector for years to come.

By its sheer size, it's likely to hasten acceptance of new technologies and help foster standards development.

FTS2000 is a model of how networks will be constructed in the future: robust and adaptable enough to meet constantly changing technology.

AT&T's digital FTS2000 network is flexibly designed.

The General Services Administration knew it could not gain optimal cost savings accommodate new applications, new technology, and new standards.

The GSA wanted a network that would meet federal-government needs into the year 2000--hence the name, Federal Telecommunications System 2000.

AT&T, as main contractor, designed such a network.

FTS2000 began serving U.S. government employees in October 1989, replacing the GSA's 26-year-old analog network.

Lion's Share

AT&T administers most of the network, providing service to 800,000 workers throughout 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. [US Sprint administers the rest of the network.]

Along with replacing the voice of network, FTS2000 offers agencies enhancements such as electronic mail, highspeed data transmission, and videoconferencing.

The GSA required six basic services:

* switched voice,

* switched data,

* packet-switched service,

* video transmission,

* dedicated transmission,

* and ISDN.

FTS2000 is backed by technology such as AT&T's 5ESS switch, IPSS packet switch, digital access and cross-connect system (DACS), and fiber-optic transport.

Integration of government-agency services provides wonderful benefits:

* lower costs,

* easier use,

* rapid transition to ISDN,

* simplified network control,

* flexible response to shifting service demands,

* better transmission through digital fiber-optic transmission,

* improved call-completion rates,

* and interoperability with other government networks, such as the Defense Department's Defense Switched Network.

AT&T calls its FTS2000 network the "Integrated Custom Network" to highlight this integration of services and the ease with which they can be customized to solve agency needs.

Braced For Future

The architecture platform for data and video is both adaptable to new technology and compliant with evolving standards.

Bell Labs designed AT&T's FTS2000 to meet complex needs through conceptual simplicity.

Users access the network over LEC dedicated lines from government "service delivery points."

Our FTS2000 network's switching and transmission equipment is isolated from the public network. Government users don't compete for capacity with public-network users.

From that equipment, calls arrive at the heart of the network, one of 18 gegraphically dispersed service nodes providing access to the six FTS2000 basic services.

The 5ESS switches at the service nodes accommodate T1 (1.5 Mb/s) signals and ISDN interfaces.

By providing services in a few similarly configured sites, we respond to changes in customer premises, access methods, and technology.

Distributed intelligence makes call processing available and stores user information needed to provide customized services.

A primary component of the distributed-intelligence system, the common-channel signaling network, will provide CCS7 signaling for ISDN starting next year.

Better Call Processing

The common-channel signaling network also augments the call-processing intelligence of the switches by providing links to network-control-point databases supporting enhanced services.

These databases can provide up to 1000 different network classes of services, offering tremendous flexibility in customizing network capabilities to individual users.

Finally, service nodes are connected by an all-digital fiber-optic transport system with extensive routing diversity to make sure individual component failures don't hurt service availability.

The government's request for ISDN capability as early as possible reflects the GSA's confidence ISDN will be an essential tool in Washington.

FTS2000 will be the largest private network offering of ISDN services.

With ISDN, federal agencies will have full integration of voice, data, image, and video with both basic-and primary-rate interface structures as defined by CCITT standars.

Additional ISDN features and applications will evolve. Several possible government applications for AT&T ISDN could be network optimization, government telemarketing, and voice teleconferencing with simultaneous data display.

The Fed, with its large agencies requiring multiple communications services, is a natural customer for network optimization via ISDN.

Now, agency locations with more than one type of communications service--using switched voice, switched data, and packed data, for example--require individual access arrangements for each service.

Dedicated facilities build to handle volume during busy hours may be underutilized the rest of the time.

Using PRI (ISDN's primary-rate interface), a large agency using more than one service can combine multiple services one one channel facility for more efficient use of network facilities and premises equipment, faster call setup, and better network performance.

ISDN Conferences

During audioconferencing calls, ISDN will let users simultaneously view relevant electronic documents (data or graphics), making conference calls more productive for farflung agency personnel.

FTS2000 audio teleconferencing used with BRI (ISDN's basic-rate interface) will provide simultaneous voice, data, and packet calls over a single agency loop.

A user could participate in the call while displaying and manipulating data or graphics at a computer. All the connections would be transmitted over a single BRI--one B channel to the audio bridge, another to the computer.

ISDN in conjunction with 800 service will provide relevant government agencies telemarketing capability at far less than the cost of setting up a full telemarketing center.

ISDN not only allows D-channel signaling and call-by-call channel allocation, but permits the agency's computer system to record the calling party phone number and display customer information on the screen as the call is answered.

AT&T's FTS2000 network is in the standards forefront for data- and video-transmission protocols.

FTS2000 will lead the way to implementation of Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) by fostering development of OSI-based applications as defined by the government's OSI standard: Government Open Systems Interconnection Profile (GOSIP).

FTS2000 will accommodate implementation of new standards along its 10-year path. One is already on the horizon: the X.500 directory-services protocol, a companion to X.400 E-mail.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes related article 'the integrated custom network'
Author:Girouard, Doyle
Publication:Communications News
Date:Aug 1, 1990
Words:946
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