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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Economics of integrating computers and communications systems in Canada Touchie, Rodger Don

Abstract

The success of the computer utility is extremely dependent upon the efficient interaction of electronic data processing equipment with high speed communication circuits. It is the purpose of this thesis to identify and examine some of the problem areas of a new and rapidly expanding industry. Emphasis is placed on the Canadian environment. However, the obvious influences of the related activities in the United States, are not to be neglected thus, the study includes numerous references to the American situation. This is not a report on computer capabilities, nor a technical analysis of the computer-communications interface. Rather, this study deals with the overlapping concerns of the computer and communications industries, and the implications of these mutual interests. Major issues are the economic considerations, government involvement and the examination of social effects. The paper consists of four main sections. The first of these is a general introduction, including a brief summary of data communication terminology. The second section concentrates upon the present Canadian situation and serves to describe the current state of teleprocessing in this country. Also, it involves a survey of the present services provided by the common carriers and the available interface equipment which developers of a computer utility might employ. One of the traits of common carrier services is regulation and this implies government involvement. Pertinent jurisdictions of both federal and provincial government bodies is described. It is felt, that within this realm, extensive reference to the actions of the Federal Communications Commission in the United States is warranted. It's pertinence to the Canadian scene will be brought directly into Section Two, and this is supplemented by Appendix B which describes some of the relevant occurrences in the United States as stimulated by the FCC. One prime undertaking serves to tie these economic, political and social factors together. As a result the thesis includes a review of progress towards a Canadian telecommunications satellite and what it might mean to cross country computer interactions in the future. Section Three looks at some of the management problems which are a part of data communication systems development. The generalities which are characteristic of any development recipe are applied to a specific case study. A study of this type leads to opinions and conclusions being drawn by the author and these are outlined in Section Four of the thesis.

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