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TLMN 602--Telecommunications Industry: Structure and Environment

Syllabus for TLMN 602 (rev. 08-30-02) Instructor: William Mackey

Day/Time of Class: Mondays, September 9 (start), 7-10pm Instructor Telephone:301-921-3082

Location of Class: College Park, Jimenez (JMZ), Rm 2117 Office Hours: Call for Appt.

Class section: TLMN 602.1111 E-mail address:

If bad weather call: (301) 985-SNOW For catalog, schedule of class call: (301) 985-4617


Major scientific, technological, and regulatory developments (national and international) are studied as they have molded the structure of the current telecommunications industry. The course traces the progression of early legislation, the regulated monopoly, antitrust, divestiture, and recent legislation that has led to the current industry environment of competition and incipient integration of different industry segments. The roles of various national and international institutions in shaping the telecommunications industry are discussed.


At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:

1. Recognize the basic principles that underlie law and regulation affecting the telecommunications industry.

2. Trace how these principles, in concert with technological progress, have molded the structure of today's telecommunications industry as to its suppliers, goods, services, applications, and


3. Assess the impact of current interacting telecommunications issues on planning for the use of information technology by the organization.

4. Compare and contrast U.S. and foreign telecommunications environments.


Dodd, A. Z. (2002). The essential guide to telecommunications. (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall PTR. ISBN 0-13-064907-4. [DODD].

Kennedy, C. H. (2001). An introduction to U.S. telecommunications law (2nd ed.). Norwood, MA: Artech House. ISBN 0-89006-380-X. [KENNEDY].

Communications Act of 1934 (as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996). Sections as specified in Readings. (Available at for downloading in WordPerfect and Adobe Acrobat versions. Click on "Text of the Act.") [COMM ACT].

American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. [APA].

Some required readings are available from "Web Databases" on the web site of UMUC Library Services at Some required readings are placed on electronic reserve in the class web site in WebTycho.

Other required readings will be assigned from specified universal resource locators (URL) on the Internet and their associated links. Additional URLs will be provided as useful source material for supplemental readings and term papers.


Pierce, R. J., Jr. & Gellhorn, E. (1994). Regulated Industries in a Nutshell. (4th ed.). St. Paul: West Publishing Company. ISBN 0-314-23994-4. [P&G]. Should be on file in the UMUC Library

Carr, Houston H., & Snyder, Charles A. (1997). The Management of Telecommunications: Business Solutions to Business Problems. Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-256-21961-3. [C&S]


1. Examinations. A midterm examination and a final examination will be required. Each examination will consist of essay questions as well as other types of questions. Questions and essay topics for the midterm examination will cover the course to that point. Questions and essay topics for the final examination may draw from the work of the entire course. The organization and clarity of responses will be an important grading consideration.

2. Term Paper. Each student will prepare a term paper. Its purpose is to give the student an opportunity to bring the information and concepts of the course to bear on a topic, issue, or project with which he or she is concerned. Term papers must demonstrate graduate-level work, including writing ability. The test of a good paper is, "Are its conclusions compelling as judged by their significance and supporting arguments?"

A. Type of Paper. The paper should examine a topical area approved by the professor. The paper must state a thesis and, based on the research, undertake to prove or disprove that thesis. The paper should review the recent literature (e.g., the last five years), distill the fundamental issues, discuss various solutions to the issues raised, identify trends, and formulate the student's own position. An adequate literature search is based primarily on academic journals (e.g., Federal Communications Law Journal), secondarily on professional journals (e.g., Journal of Systems Management), and lastly on books and textbooks.

B. Length and Style. The paper should have a body of 20 to 25 pages. The paper must be typed in accordance with Appendix A of APA.

C. Term Paper Process. Students may wish to use a structured approach to aid them in completing a successful term paper. Students using this process should turn in several developmental products within the first several sessions of the course.

1. Session 2. A short concept paper. This concept paper should consist of the paper title; a one-paragraph description (abstract) giving scope, intended thesis, structure, and anticipated result; and a tentative list of sources. This normally will be sufficient unless the professor asks for a rewrite of the concept paper.

2. Session 4. The paper in (1) above plus an outline (i.e. a detailed table of contents).

  1. Session 6. The paper in (2) above plus a one paragraph discussion of each section.

  2. Session 9. The final paper reviewed and graded as if it were final. This is an optional submittal and allows the student to improve the final grade based on the review comments.

5. Session 12. TERM PAPERS ARE DUE.

D. Evaluation Criteria and Feedback. A Term Paper Feedback Sheet will be used to provide feedback to students.

  1. Oral Presentation. Each student will prepare and present a concise oral report on a topic approved by the instructor. The time limit for this presentation will be 12-15 minutes. An additional two to three minutes for questions from the instructor and/or class members may be included. Effective oral presentation techniques, such as projected viewgraphs, overheads, flip charts, or lap charts, are expected. Handouts for the class are considered very helpful. Presentations will be evaluated using an Oral Presentation Feedback Sheet. Going over the time limit may reduce the grade ofr the presentation. Try to tell the story effectively and keep the class engaged and interested.


Graduate School Grading Guidelines

According to the Graduate School's grading policy, the following symbols are used: A -- excellent; B -- good; C -- passing; and F-- failure.

The following scale will be used for the purposes of this course, unless modified by the instructor:

A = 90 to 100

B = 80 to 89

C = 70 to 79

F = below 70 (Failing)

The grade of "B" represents the benchmark for the Graduate School. It indicates that the student has demonstrated competency in the subject matter of the course, i.e., has fulfilled all course requirements on time; has a clear grasp of the full range of course materials and concepts; and is able to present and apply these materials and concepts in clear, reasoned, well-organized and grammatically correct responses, whether written or oral.

Only students who fully meet this standard and, in addition, who demonstrate exceptional comprehension and application of the course subject matter merit an "A".

Students who do not meet the benchmark standard of competency fall within the "C" range or lower. They, in effect, have not met graduate level standards. Where this failure is substantial, they earn an "F".

The Grade of "I" (Incomplete). The grade of "I" (incomplete) is exceptional and given only to students whose completed coursework has been qualitatively satisfactory but who have been unable to complete all course requirements because of illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond their control. The grade of "I" may be considered only for students who have completed at least fifty (50) percent of the total coursework requirements with a grade of "B" or better. The faculty member retains the right to make the final decision on granting a student's request for an "I," even though the student may meet the eligibility requirements for this grade.

Writing Standards

Effective managers and leaders are also effective communicators. Written communication is an important element of the total communication process. The Graduate School recognizes and expects exemplary writing to be the norm for course work. All individual and group papers must demonstrate graduate level writing ability and comply with the format requirements of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed.). Careful attention should be given to source citations, proper listing of references, the use of footnotes, and the presentation of tables and graphs.


Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation of another person's idea or product as one's own. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the following: copying verbatim all or part of another's written work; using phrases, charts, figures, illustrations, or mathematical or scientific solutions without citing the source; and using all or part of a literary plot, poem, film, musical score, or other artistic product without attributing the work to its creator. Notes taken for papers and research projects should accurately record sources of material to be cited, quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, and papers should acknowledge these sources in footnotes.

(The penalties for plagiarism include a zero or a grade of "F" on the work in question, a grade of "F" in the course, suspension with a file letter, suspension with a transcript notation, or expulsion.)

Disabled Participants

In accordance with the UMUC policy, any student who has a disability and is in need of classroom accommodations must inform the instructor of this need and, if he or she has not already done so, contact UMUC's office of Veteran and Disabled Student Services at 301-985-7258.


Grades will be determined as follows, unless modified by the instructor:

Midterm examination 20%

Oral presentation 10%

Term paper 40%

Final examination 20%

Class Participation 10%

While class attendance is not graded, it does have some affect on class participation considerations.


Session 1. Introduction; Today’s Industry Structure; Wireline Carriers--Technology (09/09/02)

  1. Overview of the course

  2. Major industry segments: wireline carriers, data, wireless, broadcast and cable television, the Internet, manufacturers

  3. Major forces on the industry: technology, policy and law, regulation, market demand

  4. Basic technological concepts

  5. Telephone systems, peripherals, and cabling

Readings: DODD, Chs. 1, 2 (pp. 3-90).

KENNEDY, Introduction (pp. xvii-xxix).

Session 2. Wireline Carriers— Regulation I: Background and History of Regulation in the United States (09/16/02)

  1. Procedural requirements of regulation

  2. Types of regulation – proscriptive and prescriptive

  3. Goals and tools of regulation – competitive environment and consumer protection

  4. Legal basis of regulation

  5. The history of regulation

  6. Antitrust principles

Readings: Mackey, W.F., The Regulation History and Environment for the

Development of Telecommunications Systems in the United States, The INCOSE 11th

Annual International Symposium, Melbourne, Australia, 2001 (in webtycho)

(Optional Reading) P&G, Chs. I; II; III; XIII.B, C (pp. 1--93, 311-324).

Session 3. Wireline Carriers—Policy and Law I: The Communications Act of 1934 (09/23/02)

  1. Communications Act of 1934, as amended

  2. Common-carrier obligations

  3. The Bell System and regulatory affairs

  4. Ongoing governmental efforts to divest AT&T

Readings: KENNEDY, Appendix B, Sections 151-155; 201-203; 205-209; 211; 214; 222; 224; 226; 230; 251 (pp. 251-303).

DODD, Ch. 3 (pp. 93-110).

Session 4. Wireline Carriers—Policy and Law II: The Modification of Final Judgement (09/30/02)

and Local Exchange and Interexchange Carriers

  1. Modification of Final Judgement (MFJ), leading to post MFJ structure

  2. Incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs)

  3. Competing local exchange carriers (CLECs)

  4. Interexchange carriers (IXCs)

Readings: KENNEDY, Chs. 1-7, (pp. 1-122).

United States v. American Tel. and Tel. Co. (1982). 552 Federal Supplement. Parts I and XII. (14 pp.). Available on Lexis/Nexis from UMUC Library Services at

Then click on "Log in toWeb Databases/ MDUSA." Click on "Government/Law." Click on "Academic Universe/Lexis-Nexis." Click on "Legal Research." Click on "Federal Case Law." In "Keyword:" key in AT&T. In "Narrow search with additional terms:" key in "552 F. Supp. 131 (1982)". In "Court" select "District Courts." In "Date: From:" key in 1982. In "To:" key in 1982. Click on "Search."

This should produce one document, "UNITED STATES v. AT&T". Click on that for full text. Print Parts I and XII only. (Optional for those especially interested in MFJ)

Session 5. Wireline Carriers—Regulation II: The Economics of Competition, Monopoly, and Regulated Natural Monopolies (10/07/02)

  1. Basic Economic Definitions

  2. The Economics of Pure Competition

  3. The Economics of Monopolies

  4. Comparisons of Competition and Monopolies

  5. Traditional rate of return regulation for regulated natural monopolies

  6. Price caps

  7. Efficient pricing

  8. Deregulatory trends

  9. Stimulus for the Telecommunication Act of 1996

Readings: KENNEDY, Appendix A (pp. 209-250).

Mackey, W.F., A Systems Approach to Telecommunications Regulation, The

INCOSE 11th Annual International Symposium, Melbourne, Australia, 2001(in webtycho)

Optional Readings: P&G, Chs. II (review), IV, V, XV.C.2, XV.E (pp. 24-74, 94-164,

354-364, 386-392).

The FCC’s “Hybrid Cost Proxy Model.” Available at

The model is complex and quite difficult to implement. Link to the Report on the first line of this

page to open a fairly user-friendly explanation of the model as a Word document.

Session 6. Wireline Carriers—Policy and Law III: The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (10/14/02)

  1. Telecommunications Act of 1996

  2. Universal service (rural areas, schools, libraries, health care)

  3. Interexchange carrier entry to local exchange markets

  4. Local access fees

  5. Local number portability

  6. Network service providers and local competition

  7. Equipment manufacturing

  8. Electronic publishing

Readings: DODD, Ch. 3 (pp. 110-133); Ch. 4 (pp. 135-174).

KENNEDY, Ch. 10, (pp. 185-197); App. B, Sec. 254; 271-274 (pp. 315-337).

Optional Readings:

COMM ACT, Sects. 251-261 , Sects. 271-276

Loewenberg, Sam. (1999, July 6). Telecom: Fight for the future. (5 pp.). Available at

Federal Communications Commission. (1996, November 19). Federal-State Board on Universal Service, recommended decision (Executive Summary, 5 pp.). CC Docket No. 96-45. Available at

Epstein, Anthony C. (1999, June 22). The telecom tango. (7 pp.). Available at

Handout Take Home Exam at Session 6

Session 7. Midterm Take Home Examination – This class time will be used to complete the midterm examination (10/21/02)

Session 8. Network Services: The Public Network and Specialized Network Services (10/28/02)

  1. Switched services—local and long distance calling

  2. Dedicated services

  3. Virtual private networks

  4. "The last mile" or access networks

  5. Optical networking

  6. Network intelligence and signaling

  7. Convergence

  8. Voice or data paths over one telephone circuit

  9. Integrated Services Digital Network

  10. Digital subscriber line technology

  11. Frame relay

  12. Gigabit Ethernet

  13. Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

  14. Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)

Readings: DODD, Chs. 5, 6 (pp. 175-289).

Session 9. Data Communications and Cable Communications (11/04/02)

1. Data circuit-terminating equipment

2. Modems

3. Network termination devices

4. Cable modems

5. Cable Communications

- Deregulation

- Provisions of the 1996 Act

6. High definition television (HDTV)

Readings: DODD, Ch. 7 (pp. 291-314).

COMM ACT, Sects. 601-653 .

Session 10. The Internet (11/11/02)

  1. History

  2. The World Wide Web

  3. E-mail

  4. Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

  5. Search engines

  6. Internet addresses

Readings: DODD, Ch. 8 (pp. 315-349).

Leiner, Barry M. et al. (1998, February 20). A brief history of the Internet. (19 pp.). Vint Cerf's brief history of the Internet. (3 pp.). Both at

Session 11. The Internet, Related Issues and Applications(11/18/02)

  1. Legal issues and liability

  2. Privacy and data security

  3. Surveillance

  4. First amendment and protected speech

  5. Convergence

  6. E-Commerce and advertising

  1. Intranets and extranets

  2. Telemedicine

  3. Intelligent Transportation

  4. Entertainment and content filters

Readings: COMM ACT, Sec. 223.

DODD, Ch. 8 (pp. 349-370).

KENNEDY, Ch. 9 (pp. 139-184)

Session 12. Wireless Services (11/25/02)

  1. Historical background of mobile and cellular services

  2. Spectrum allocation

  3. Cellular telephone service – technologies

  4. Cellular vendors

  5. The cellular market

  6. Transition from second to third generation cellular networks

  7. Personal Communications Services (PCS)

  8. Specialized mobile radio

  9. Paging services

  10. Satellite communications--impact on traditional communications

  11. Low earth orbit (LEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) systems

  12. Time Division Multiple Access, GSM, and Code Division Multiple Access

  13. Multilateral organizations (e.g., INTELSAT, INMARSAT)

Readings: DODD, Ch. 9 (pp. 371-418)

KENNEDY, Ch. 8 (pp. 123-138)

Optional Readings:

Various authors. (1998, April). Wireless technologies. Scientific American 278(4):69-96. [on electronic reserve].


Session 13. International Telecommunications – Privatization and Liberalization (12/02/02)

  1. Overview

  2. Privatization in England and Latin America

  3. Liberalization in developing countries

  4. Functions of the International Telecommunication Union

Readings: DODD, Ch. 10 (pp. 419-474)

KENNEDY, Ch. 11 (pp. 199-207)

Moore, John. (1992, January-February). British privatization - taking capitalism to the people. Harvard Business Review, pp. 115-124. [on electronic reserve].

Lerner, N. C. (1991). Telecommunications privatization and liberalization in developing countries. Telecommunications Journal 58(VI)279-286. [on electronic reserve].

International Telecommunication Union. About the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). At

(also and relevant links.)

Mackey, W.F., A Systems Approach to Telecommunications Regulation, The

INCOSE 11th Annual International Symposium, Melbourne, Australia, 2001

(in webtycho)

Session 14. Final Examination – In Class (12/09/02)

Session 15. Final Grades - Optional Session (12/16/02)


Name: ________________________________________________ Date: ________________

Topic: ________________________________________________ Grade: _______________

1. TECHNICAL (50 points): This score is based on the paper's coverage, organization, depth, and significance.

a. The paper's scope is (10 points):

_____ About right _____ Too broad _____ Too narrow

b. The paper's logical flow is (10 points):

_____ Tight _____ Sound _____ Loose

c. The paper demonstrated that the student's grasp of the subject matter is (10 points):

_____ Detailed _____ Basic _____ Sketchy

d. The paper's conclusions are (20 points):

_____ Significant _____ Plausible _____ Meager

_____ Well supported _____ Partially supported _____ Unsupported

2. PURPOSE AND THRUST (15 points): This score is based on how well the paper poses a sharply drawn, course-related thesis and defends it persuasively.

a. The paper's thesis is (5 points):

_____ Sharply drawn _____ Vague _____ Absent

b. The paper's thesis is (5 points):

_____ Insightful _____ Significant _____ Trivial

c. The paper's thesis is (5 points):

_____ Well defended _____ Partially supported _____ Not well argued

3. WRITING ABILITY (35 points): This score is based on how well the paper communicates in writing, using proper composition, grammar, usage, tables, and figures.

a. The paper's writing style is (5 points):

_____ Professional _____ Acceptable _____ Inappropriate

b. The paper's success in communicating the topic is (10 points):

_____ Lucid _____ Suitable _____ Unsuccessful

c. The paper's grammar and usage are (5 points):

_____ Excellent _____ Satisfactory _____ Poor

d. The paper's format and graphics are (5 points):

_____ Superior _____ Adequate _____ Poor

e. The paper follows the APA style manual or equivalent (10 points):

_____ Carefully _____ Approximately _____ Poorly



Name: ________________________________________________ Date: ________________

Topic: _________________________________________________ Grade: _______________­

1. Organization of material (suitable scope and logical flow):

_____Tight _____Sound _____Loose


2. Demonstrated grasp of subject matter:

_____Detailed _____Basic _____Sketchy


3. Conclusions (significance and support):

_____Compelling _____Plausible _____Meager


4. Oral technique:

_____Effective _____Appropriate _____Needs work


5. Visual technique:

_____Effective _____Appropriate _____Needs work


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