1. The twisted pair is the main apparatus used to connect the customer to the central office, and vice versa. This is referred to as a “local loop”, and relies on one pair of copper cables, or ‘twisted pairs’ per household. The central office connects directly to the local exchange, but is not considered part of the local loop. The local exchange represents a specific company, which connects to the CO, which connects to the customer. To summarize, the interexchange carrier provides service to the local exchange, which then services the local loop.
From there, the point where the interexchange carrier meets the local exchange carrier is termed the point-of-presence or POP. This connection allows for nationwide, long-distance service. At the base of all these connections is the simple fixed line service, or the ‘local loop’ described above, that connects each customer to every other customer on the network through the hierarchy of connections described here. The simplest way to think of the telephone networks is a network of interconnected networks, or a loop of loops.
2. Cellular technology is a relatively recent progression, but has seen many varied advancements since its inception. The first networks began with 1G technology, then 2G, 3G, 4G, and most recently 5G. Like other types of media, the format began with analog 1G. The creation of 2G added voice transmission over the network, switching from analog data flow to digital. 3G allowed for considerably higher data flow, although not enough to handle the multimedia streaming capabilities that characterizes the 4G network.
Although still in the experimental phase, 5G promises another leap in capabilities between users and their devices. According to one source, users will have upwards of 10 devices connected to the network at any given time.1 And according to another, this could include not only tablets, phones and watches – but also your appliances and even your automobile.2 Furthermore, devices connected to the 5G network would also be interconnected to one another over the cloud. “What this means, basically, is that 5G networks will bring computer processing to the devices that need it. ‘A wearable device could connect to other devices…and this could lead to new kinds of experiences.’"3
In telephone network topology, the demarcation point defines the physical point at which the telco is no longer responsible for the hardware on a network. Typically, this point sits on the entrance to a designated telecom room inside of a place of business. For homeowners, it generally rests at the Optical Network Terminal, where the twisted pair connects to the home. From there, the signal is transmitted over various connections stemming from the ONT.
An access network connects individual users to the telecom network through different kinds of hardware, copper, and fiber-optic cabling. The key features here are the increasing number of consumers added to the network as well as the methods used to service the demand.
Metro Area Networks connect entire populations, and involve a major service provider or several working together. Wide Area Networks cover regional areas. Both must carry large amounts of data and be capable of efficiently switching data between the various carriers using the network.
The basics of broadcast television include radio waves transmitted from a central location, known as the headend, over a community antennae. The main problem with early broadcasting was the strength of the waves that could be transmitted over copper cabling. Modern broadcasting uses a combination of radio waves, copper and fiber-optic cabling, as well as amplifiers to strengthen the signal.
A network access point is a connection point for drop cables, usually located next to the homes or businesses it services. Individual homes require a network interface device, a small box located somewhere outside the home that contains the links for the network.