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TLMN 602.9041--Telecommunications Industry: Structure and Environment
Spring 2005

Syllabus for: Spring 2005 Instructor: John M. Richardson

Day/time of class: Online Tel: Office: By E-mail

Location of class: Online Office hours: By E-mail

Class schedule call: (301) 985-4617 E-mail:


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:

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

  • 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 institutions.

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

  • 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 desired version.) [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 may be 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.


1. Class Participation - throughout the semester

Each session, except examination sessions, a lesson will be opened Course Content > Lesson Guide in your "classroom." There will be an associated Conference for each session under Conferences. The purpose of these Conferences is to provide an interactive discussion environment for students and instructor to pursue session topics, provide comments, ask one another questions, and generate additional ideas to enhance overall understanding of the subject matter of each session.

Each student should make at least one substantive contribution of one to two pages to each session. I will grade these and select your best 10 toward your course grade.

2. Mid-Term Examination – Session 7

There will be an open-book mid-term examination. The questions will test how well you have assimilated the content of TLMN 602 to the mid-term point and how well you can apply its concepts.

3. Technical Presentation - Due Session 8

The overall purpose of the Technical Presentation is to give each student an opportunity to thoroughly study, research, and present a telecommunications technology concept, product, or service, with the overall objective of education for yourself and others in your class. Since the purpose of the presentation is to explain the results of your research to others (your fellow students in this case), I will use a peer evaluation system to help me grade your presentation.

You should prepare and present a presentation (no written paper, but you should use either an audio voice-over or the notes feature of Microsoft PowerPoint) for your presentation. You should prepare any supplemental material necessary to make your presentation understandable. The presentation should simulate what you might orally present to a technical or management group in about 15 or 20 minutes total, apart from questions.

The Technical Presentation is different from the Research Paper (below) in several ways. In the Technical Presentation, your overall focus is on learning what has already been researched (widely known facts--you may not know them, but they are known), preparing the presentation for a particular audience (your fellow students) to accomplish the following.

  • Completely describe your selected topic (so that a reader would understand what it is).

  • Explain how it works or operates (when applicable), what is the “latest and greatest” (trends, research, application, hype, new standards, techniques, etc.,) about your subject.

  • Show where is the subject, topic or the field of your technical presentation going in the future.

  • Provide any added value in the form of observations, conclusions, or recommendations that you can make (when possible).

4. Research Paper - Due Session 12

Each student will prepare a Research 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. Research 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?"  Basic indicators of competency include the following.

  • Understanding the full range of basic concepts covered in the course and how they apply to specific situations responding to the essential points of all course assignments

  • Presenting clear, reasoned, and well-organized responses

  • Using correct grammar, spelling, and usage for all written assignments, and especially for out-of-class writing as relevant

  • Making professional-quality presentations

  • Using graphics effectively

  • Making substantial use of databases and other presentation materials

  • Meeting deadlines for assignments

  • Following the style set forth in the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association. (You could lose up to a letter grade for non-APA compliant formats.)

The grade of "A" is given only when a substantial original contribution to the subject matter is demonstrated. Only students who fully meet this standard and demonstrate exceptional comprehension and application of the course subject matter merit an "A." Students who earn an "A" clearly have mastered and are fluent in the subject matter. Indicators of exceptional performance include the following.

  • Analysis that follows a cogent line of reasoning

  • Analysis that evaluates alternative solutions or reasoning

  • Consistent application of concepts and reasoning to data and situations

  • Analysis that recognizes connections across a range of concepts, draws appropriate implications and conclusions, and exhibits novelty and creativity of ideas or represents conceptual advances on what is taught.

A. Type of Paper. The paper should examine a topical area relating to the course. Purely technical papers should be avoided because the Technical Presentation covered such topics. The paper should address technical, economic, regulatory, policy or operational aspects of telecommunications. At a minimum the paper should include one case study; more cases studies are helpful. The paper must state a thesis and, based on the research, undertake to support or invalidate that thesis. The paper should review the recent literature (for example, 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 (for example, Federal Communications Law Journal, IEEE Journals), secondarily on professional journals (for example, Journal of Systems Management), and lastly on books and textbooks and online sources. 

B. Length and Style. The paper should have a body of 15 to 20 pages. The paper should be typed double spaced in accordance with Appendix A of APA. The paper must include an abstract or executive summary, which may be posted for all students to read. 

5. Final Examination - Session 14

There will be an open-book final examination. The questions will test how well you have assimilated the content of TLMN 602 as a whole and how well you can apply its concepts.


Final grades will be calculated as follows:

Class Participation 20%

Mid-Term Examination 20%

Technical Presentation 15%

Research Paper 20%

Final Examination 25%

Note: An overall consideration for ALL grades is that each project grade is for the totality of the effort, and not for just mysteriously turning in a write-up at some convenient time to receive credit. Each grade is made up of the process associated with the project. For example, for the Technical Presentation, the process is to post a topic in the appropriate conference as advised, get feedback from me and others, respond to suggestions made to your postings, follow the writing guidelines when preparing the presentation, posting the presentation in the designated conference, completing the Peer Review Sheet, and posting it at the right place by the due date.

According to the Graduate School of Management and Technology's grading policy, the following marks are used:

A (90-100) = Excellent
B (80-89) = Good
C (70-79) = Below standards
F (69 or below) = Failure
FN = Failure for nonattendance
G = Grade pending
P = Passing
S = Satisfactory
U = Unsatisfactory
I = Incomplete
AU = Audit
W = Withdrew

The grade of "B" represents the benchmark for the Graduate School of Management and Technology. It indicates that the student has demonstrated competency in the subject matter of the course, e.g., 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, well-reasoned, well-organized, and grammatically correct responses, whether written or oral.
Only students who fully meet this standard and, in addition, demonstrate exceptional comprehension and application of the course subject matter earn a grade of "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 can earn an "F." The "FN" grade means a failure in the course because the student has ceased to attend and participate in course assignments and activities but has not officially withdrawn.

See Policy 170.71 - Grade of Incomplete, Grade Pending, and Withdrawal.

Effective managers, leaders, and teachers are also effective communicators. Written communication is an important element of the total communication process. The Graduate School of Management and Technology recognizes and expects exemplary writing to be the norm for course work. To this end, all papers, individual and group, must demonstrate graduate level writing and comply with the format requirements of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th Edition). Careful attention should be given to spelling, punctuation, source citations, references, and the presentation of tables and figures. It is expected that all course work will be presented on time and error free.


See UMUC policy on academic dishonesty and plagiarism

UMUC offers the Vail Tutor, a tutorial program covering scholarly documentation practices.

Vail Tutor

The University has a license agreement with, a service that helps prevent plagiarism from internet resources. Your instructor may be using this service in this class by either requiring students to submit their papers electronically to or by submitting questionable text on behalf of a student. If you or your instructor submit part or all of your paper, it will be stored by in their database throughout the term of the University's contract with If you object to this temporary storage of your paper, you must let your instructor know no later than two weeks after the start of this class. Please Note: If you object to the storage of your paper on, your instructor may utilize other services to check your work for plagiarism.

See UMUC policy on academic dishonesty and plagiarism

Course Evaluation Form

UMUC values its students' feedback. You will be asked to complete a mandatory online evaluation toward the end of the semester. The primary purpose of this evaluation is to assess the effectiveness of classroom instruction. UMUC requires all students to complete this evaluation. Your individual responses are kept confidential.
The evaluation notice will appear on your class screen about 21 days before the end of the semester. You will have approximately one week to complete the evaluation. If, within this 21-day period, you do not open the file and either respond to the questions or click on "no response," you will be "locked out" of the class until you do complete the evaluation. This means that you will not be able to enter the classroom. Once you have completed the evaluation, you will regain access to the classroom. If you have any problem getting back in your classroom, you should immediately contact WebTycho support at 1.800.807.4862 or at
The Graduate School of Management and Technology takes students' evaluations seriously, and in order to provide the best learning experience possible, information provided is used to make continuous improvements to every class. Please take full advantage of this opportunity to provide constructive recommendations and comments about potential areas of improvement.

Students with disabilities who want to request and register for services should contact UMUC's technical director for veteran and disabled student services at least four to six weeks in advance of registration each semester. Please email or call 301-985-7930 or 301-985-7466 (TTY).


If this is your first online class at UMUC using WebTycho, please make sure that you take the time to go through the "tutorial" at

TLMN 602.9041--Telecommunications Industry: Structure and Environment
Spring 2005


Session 1. Classroom Orientation; Introduction

  1. Classroom orientation

  2. Course objectives and overview

  3. Wireline carriers today

  4. The industry's ages of monopoly, hybrid regulation, and competition

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

Readings: KENNEDY, Introduction, (pp. xvii-xxix).

Browse the textbooks and read one or two sessions ahead.

Session 2. Basic Concepts and Systems

  1. Industry components

  2. Basic technological concepts

  3. Telephone systems, peripherals, and cabling

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

Session 3. Economic Background of Telecommunications Regulation

1. Goals and tools of regulation--competitive environment and consumer protection
2. Types of regulation--proscriptive and prescriptive
3. Markets: competition and monopoly
4. Specific economic issues in telecommunications law
5. Antitrust principles

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

Session 4. Telecommunications Policy and Law

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. 93-107).

Session 5. Regulation

1. Kinds of regulation
2. Rate-of-return regulation
3. Price caps
4. Efficient pricing
5. Deregulatory trends

Readings: KENNEDY, Chs. 1, 2 (pp. 5-33).

KENNEDY, Review Appendix A, pp. 234-250.

Session 6. Local Exchange and Interexchange Carriers

1. Modification of Final Judgment (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. 3-6, (pp. 35-113).
United States v. American Tel. and Tel. Co. et al. 552 Federal Supplement 131 (1982). Parts I and XII. (14 pp.). Available on Lexis/Nexis from UMUC Library Services at

  • Then click on Electronic Resources > Library Databases and E-Journals > Log in.

  • Click on Government.

  • Click on LexisNexis Academic.

  • In Get a Case select Citation.

  • Key in "552 F. Supp. 131 (1982)"

  • Click on Search. This should produce one document, "United States v. American Tel, & Tel, Co."

  • Click on that for full text. Print Parts I and XII only.

Session 7. Mid-Term Examination

Take the mid-term examination according to instructions to be provided.

Session 8. Telecommunications Act of 1996

  1. Passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996

  2. Competition in the local exchange by CLECs and IXCs; local access charges; local number portability

  3. Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC) entry into interexchange carrier market

  4. Equipment manufacturing; electronic publishing

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

  6. Network service providers and local competition

Readings: DODD, Ch. 3 (pp. 108-133); Ch. 4 (pp. 135-174).
KENNEDY, Ch. 10, (pp. 185-197); App. B, Sec. 254, 271-274 (pp. 309-337).

Technical Presentation due. Post ONLY your final copy in Conferences > Technical Presentation. Submit to Conferences > Technical Presentation optional comments and feedback on any Presentation(s) that interest(s) you.

Session 9. Network Services

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 10. Data Communications and Cable Communications

1. Data circuit-terminating equipment
2. Modems
3. Network termination devices
4. Cable modems
5. Cable communications
6. Deregulation
7. Provisions of the 1996 Act

Readings: DODD, Ch. 7 (pp. 291-314).
COMM ACT, Sects. 601-653.

Session 11. The Internet and Related Issues

1. Electronic commerce and advertising
2. Intranets and extranets
3. Legal issues and liability
4. Privacy and data security
5. Surveillance
6. First Amendment and protected speech
7. Content filters

Readings: COMM ACT, Sec. 223.
DODD, Ch. 8 (pp. 349-370).
KENNEDY, Ch. 9 (pp. 139-184)

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 12. Wireless Services

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. Mobile Internet access, messaging services and Bluetooth
8. Specialized mobile radio
9. Paging services
10. Satellites
11. Time Division Multiple Access, GSM, and Code Division Multiple Access

Readings: DODD, Ch. 9 (pp. 371-418).
KENNEDY, Ch. 8 (pp. 123-138).

Research Papers Due. Submit as an assignment to Assignments Folder.

Session 13. International Telecommunications

1. International services
2. Privatization and deregulation
3. Latin America
4. Asia
5. Europe
6. Africa and the Middle East
7. Functions of the International Telecommunication Union

Readings: KENNEDY, Ch. 11 (pp. 199-207).
DODD, Ch. 10 (pp. 419-474).
International Telecommunication Union. About the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). At
(also and relevant links.)

Session 14. Final Examination

Take the final examination according to instructions to be provided.

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