METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR
PROVIDING A DERIVED DIGITAL
TELEPHONE VOICE CHANNEL
This application is a continuation of patent application Ser. No. 08/966,926, filed on Nov. 10,1997, allowed as U.S. Pat. No. 6,141,356.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
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") 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. 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 voiceband data modems used to access the Internet, however, use a serial telephone line connection transmitting data at less than 56 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 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 highspeed data services to 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 highspeed 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 conventional 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 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.
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 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 5 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; 20 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 25 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.
30 DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
While the invention is described below in some detail with reference to certain illustrated embodiments, it is to be
35 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 distri
40 bution 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
45 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
50 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
55 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
60 digital data throughout the customer premises.
The present embodiment provides the distribution of high-speed 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
65 customer premises. The wireless distribution system carries lower speed data and has relatively lower bandwidth requirements, reducing the complexity and cost of the wire3