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AND LOW-SPEED DATA
DISTRIBUTE LOWER SPEED
DISTRIBUTE HIGH SPEED
SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DISTRIBUTING
VOICE AND DATA INFORMATION OVER
WIRELESS AND WIRELINE NETWORKS
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED 5
This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/679,091, filed Oct. 4, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,917, 624, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 10 08/966,926, filed Nov. 10, 1997, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,141, 356, wherein the entirety of each is hereby incorporated by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 15
A. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a method and device for distributing high-speed digital data information and lower speed data including Plain Old Telephone Service ("POTS") 20 voice signals throughout a customer premises.
B. Description of the Related Art
The Internet is a worldwide interconnection of computers that offers a vast array of multimedia audio, video, graphics, and text information accessible from a user's home computer. 25 The available multimedia content on the Internet requires millions of bits of digital data to be transmitted or downloaded to the user's computer. Conventional voice-band data modems used to access the Internet, however, use a serial telephone line connection transmitting data at less than 56 30 kilobits per second. The user's ability to quickly obtain and view information using a conventional telephone line connection is thus substantially limited.
The desire to bring large amounts of multimedia digital data from the Internet into the home has increased the demand 35 for high-speed data services such as Integrated Digital Services Network ("ISDN") and Digital Subscriber Lines ("DSL") to the home or small business office. In addition to Plain Old Telephone Service ("POTS"), telephone operating companies are now offering these high-speed data services to 40 bring digital data from the telephone company central office to the telephone subscriber's home or office. High-speed data and POTS are often carried to the home at different frequencies on the same physical wire pair.
Once to the telephone subscriber's home, these high-speed 45 data services must be distributed throughout the home or office to the locations where computer users are located. Existing homes typically do not have wiring facilities to distribute high-speed data. At a typical customer premises, such as the family home, the telephone company delivers conven- 50 tional POTS and high-speed data services to a network interface device ("NID") located outside of the building. From the NID, a pair of conductive telephone wires delivers POTS to the rooms in the home where telephones are located. To distribute high-speed data services in addition to supplying 55 POTS, however, additional wiring must ordinarily be installed throughout the customer premises. Installing additional wiring to each desired location throughout the premises, however, can be expensive and disruptive to those living or working there. 60
To avoid the cost and disruption of installing new wiring, wireless data distribution systems have been proposed to distribute high-speed digital data throughout the customer premises location without such disruption or installation costs. Wireless distribution systems, however, typically have 65 less bandwidth capacity than a wireline system. Wireless distribution systems may also create or be susceptible to
interference with other electronic devices that are commonly found in an office environment. Thus, higher performance wireless systems that are less susceptible to interference and have higher bandwidth capacity are more complex and considerably more expensive than a wireline distribution system. Additionally, high-speed data terminals are typically placed at a fixed location, whereas voice and portable low-speed data terminals would often benefit from mobility in and near the customer premises.
In accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention, the problems of distributing both highspeed data and POTS signals throughout a customer premises can be addressed without the cost and disruption of installing new wiring or cost and complexity of wireless data networks.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more readily appreciated upon reference to the following disclosure when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows a system diagram of the local loop between the customer premises and telephone service provider central office in accordance an aspect of the present invention;
FIG. 2 shows a block diagram of the method according to an aspect of the present invention;
FIG. 3 shows a schematic diagram of the customer premises location of the system of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of the POTS splitter of the system of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 shows a block diagram of the backup power feature in accordance with another aspect of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
While the invention is described below in some detail with reference to certain illustrated embodiments, it is to be understood that it is not limited to those embodiments. On the contrary, the intent is to cover all modifications, alternatives and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
The present embodiment provides an information distribution system within a customer premises location using a wireline distribution network for distributing high-speed data and a separate wireless distribution network for distributing POTS and lower speed data. The customer premises location receives high-speed digital data such as computer, video, multimedia data containing audio, graphics, and text, and lower speed data including POTS voice band frequencies from the public switched telephone network ("PSTN"). The PSTN includes those public switched telephone networks provided by AT&T, Regional Bell Operating Companies (e.g., Ameritech, U.S. West, Bell Atlantic, SBC, Bell South, NYNEX, and Pacific Telesis Group) and others. A POTS splitter separates the high-speed digital data from the lower speed POTS signals. Lower speed POTS signals are distributed throughout the customer premises on the wireless distribution system rather than the existing wireline distribution system. The wireless system may also have multiple channels to provide additional POTS lines and distribute lower speed data. The wireline distribution network can then be used to distribute the high-speed digital data throughout the customer premises.
The present embodiment provides the distribution of highspeed data and lower speed POTS signals on separate wireless and wireline network distribution facilities to avoid the cost
and disruption of installing additional wiring at the customer premises. The wireless distribution system carries lower speed data and has relatively lower bandwidth requirements, reducing the complexity and cost of the wireless distribution system. The wireless distribution system also provides cord- 5 less operation allowing users to access the telephone in different areas throughout the customer premises and freely move about while speaking on the telephone. The existing telephone wiring is free from carrying POTS and can be utilized to carry high-speed data typically associated with 10 digital computer data or multimedia information. Using the wireline distribution network, the high-speed data is available at outlets throughout the customer premises for connection to computers, computer peripherals, and video display devices.
The present embodiment also provides for the distribution 15 of POTS signals and lower speed data over the existing wireline system in the event of a power failure or outage. During a loss of power, the wireless distribution network is typically out of service. Lower speed POTS is thus switched over to the wireline distribution network to provide service in the event 20 of a power failure.
As shown in FIG. 1, the subscriber location or customer premises 20 is in communication with the telephone service provider central office 24 using a local loop 22 carrying both POTS analog voice signals and high-speed digital data traffic 25 between the customer premises 20 and the telephone service provider central office 24. The local loop 22 may take different forms but is typically a twisted pair of copper wires providing plain old telephone service ("POTS") or 1 measured business service to the customer location. The local 30 loop 22 may also provide high-speed communication services such as integrated services digital network ("ISDN") or higher rate services such as Primary Rate Interface ("PRI") or 24 channel Tl service. In the present embodiment, the local loop preferably includes a high-speed digital subscriber line 35 26 ("DSL" or "XDSL") such as a high-speed digital subscriber loop ("HDSL"), asymmetric digital subscriber loop ("ASDL") or rate adaptive digital subscriber line ("RADSL"). Alternatively, a digital carrier system 26 provides digital data lines which enable subscribers 28 to trans- 40 mit large amounts of digitally multiplexed data traffic over the POTS twisted pair telephone line 29. The remote terminal 27 combines a plurality of subscribers 28 onto a digital multiplexed data line 25 for transmission between the subscriber location 28 and the central office 24. For example, a 24-chan- 45 nel digital multiplexed Tl line is commonly used in North America for the multiplexed data line 25. Tl typically uses wire pairs using 16 to 24 gauge cable carrying data at the 1.544 Mbps DS1 line rate. In addition, fiber optic cable carrying a number of multiplexed channels of information may 50 also be used in accordance with the present embodiment.
Preferably, ADSL is used to implement a subscriber loop with high-speed data capacity. ADSL implements a digital subscriber line 22 with asymmetric data rates between the customer premises and the central office, meaning the maxi- 55 mum available "downstream" data rate from the central office 24 to the subscriber location 20, 28 is greater than the maximum "upstream" data rate from the subscriber 20, 28 back to the central office 24. ADSL can provide data rates of up to 8 megabits-per-second ("Mbs") over 2 miles of twisted-pair 60 wiring to provide a variety of digital data signals supporting computer, multimedia and video data, while providing POTS over the same line. A typical ADSL system provides a 1.5 Mbs rate from the central office 24 to the subscriber 20, 28 and about 640 kilobits-per-second ("Kbs") in the reverse 65 direction from the subscriber location 20, 28 to the central office 24. ADSL may use discrete multi-tone ("DMT"), car
rierless amplitude and phase ("CAP") or even quadrature amplitude modulation ("QAM") line coding. The American National Standards Institute's T1E1.4 committee has selected DMT as the ADSL standard.
Alternatively, the local loop may also include a wireless local loop (currently being deployed primarily in developing countries without existing communication infrastructure facilities and now available in the United States). The wireless local loop 30 provides communication from the central office 24 to the customer premises 32 without requiring new cable plant between the central office 24 and the customer premises 32. A wireless local loop 30 may use a transmitter 34 at the central office 24, transmitting microwave radio frequencies to a radio frequency receiver using an antenna 3 6 at the customer premises 32. The wireless local loop 30 can implement any of the ISDN, PRI, DSL, or high-capacity 24 channel Tl lines described above. In addition, fixed-satellite wireless communication systems allowing communication service to be directly received at the subscriber location from earth orbiting satellites are also available from companies such as Hughes Network Systems and Motorola Inc. Such systems are currently being deployed in developing countries.
The local loop, in its various forms 22,26,30, carries POTS and high-speed data signals between the subscriber locations 20,28,32 and the telephone service provider central office 24. POTS signals are typically analog voice band signals within the 200 Hz to 4 KHz frequency range. In comparison, highspeed digital data is usually carried at carrier frequencies several orders of magnitude higher than the voice band frequency range. For example, lower speed POTS signals may be carried in the 0 to 10 KHz frequency range, while ADSL carries high-speed data in the frequency range from 100 KHz up to 1 MHz or at even higher. Thus, POTS signals and high-speed data are carried over the same local loop facility at different frequencies.
FIG. 2, summarizes the present method of implementing thedescribed embodiment.At step 110, combined high-speed and lower speed POTS signals from the local loop is separated onto separate facilities. Preferably, the high-speed data is separated from the lower speed. POTS signals onto physically separate lines as described in connection with the description of the POTS splitter of FIG. 3. At step 120, the separated lower speed POTS signals are distributed over a wireless distribution system, rather than the conventional in-house POTS telephone wiring. At step 130, high-speed data is distributed over the existing wireline ordinarily used for distributing POTS within the customer premises. The details of the present method are further described below in connection with the present embodiment.
FIG. 3 shows a diagram of a telephone subscriber location or customer premises 20 such as a typical home or small business office. The local loop 22 between the customer premises 20 and the central office 24 is terminated at the network interface device ("NID") 40 connecting the customer premises 20 to the public switched telephone network ("PSTN"). Typically, the NID 40 provides a common wiring point for the customer premises and the telephone service provider to connect and interface their equipment. The NID 40 serves as a convenient place to connect the local loop 22 to the customer premises 20 and demarcates customer premises equipment from telephone service provider equipment. In the preferred embodiment, on the customer premises side of the NID 40, a POTS splitter 42 is installed to separate high-speed data signals from lower speed POTS signals. Preferably, the POTS splitter 42 separates high-speed ADSL signals from lower speed POTS signals. The POTS splitter 42 has an input/output 44 from the local loop 22. The splitter 42 separates the high