Via Net Loss
Via Net Loss is a network architecture for
telephone calls using circuit switchingsystems deployed in the 1950s with Direct Distance Dialingand used until the late 1980s. The purpose of the VNL plan and five-level long distanceswitching hierarchy was to minimize the number of trunk circuits in a call and maximize the voice quality of the connections. Excessive loss in a voice connection meant that subscribers may have difficulty hearing each other. This was particularly important in the 1960s when dial up data connections were developed with the use of analog modems. The five levels of PSTNswitching systems used with VNL were:
* Class 1 - Regional Long Distance Switching System
* Class 2 - Sectional Long Distance Switching System
* Class 3 - Primary Long Distance Switching System
* Class 4 - Toll Access Switching System
* Class 5 - End Office Switching System
Class 5 End Office switches provide local telephone service and dialtone to residential, business, and government subscribers, as well as
telephone company payphones. Residential service includes message rate and flat ratelocal calling plans with extra charges for long distance calls and supplementary services such as call waiting, 3-way calling, and call forwarding. Business service is mostly message rate local calling plans with extra charges for long distance and supplementary services. Message Rate calling means that subscribers pay for calls based on duration of the call and distance to the called party. Government subscribers include cities, counties, state, and federal agencies and often included Centrexservice. Pay phones were traditionally provided exclusively by telephone companies but during the early 1980s Customer Owned Coin Operated Telephoneservices were established.
Class 4 Toll Access switches provide long distance (toll) telephone service including intra-state calling and inter-state calling. Intra-state calls are generally more expensive than inter-state calls due to favorable tariffs with price plans approved by the
Public Utilities Commissionor Public Service Commission for each state. Inter-state calls are generally less expensive than intra-state calls since tariffs are filed with the Federal Communications Commission because of the inter-state commerce aspect of the service. Class 4 switches provide access to long distance service in rural areas. In addition, Class 4 switches traditionally provided operator assisted calls such as person-to-person, collect, and calls billed to third parties. However, many operator services are now automated with minimum human intervention.
Class 3 Primary switches provided the first layer of the AT&T long distance switching network. VNL routing methods preferred trunk connections between Class 3 switches to minimize class 1 and class 2 connections. Class 3 switches also act as
Service Switching Pointsor SSP's that provide access to Intelligent Networkservices such as Toll-Free, Virtual Private Network, Calling Card, and Credit Card calls. If circuits to other Class 3 switches were unavailable, the call was routed to the Class 2 (and/or Class 1) switch in the same region. Calls were not routed "up-chain" to Class 2 or Class 1 switches in a different region. Analog circuits between AT&T long distance switches are known as Inter-Toll trunkswhile circuits from a long distance switch to local switches are known as Toll Completing trunks. Trunks between long distance switches in other carrier networks are known as Inter-Machine Trunksor IMT's.
Class 2 Sectional switches provide the second layer of long distance switching. VNL routing methods preferred trunk connections between the originating Class 2 switch and a Class 3 or Class 2 switch in a different region. Calls were not routed "up-chain" to a Class 1 switch in a different region.
Class 1 Regional switches provide the final layer of long distance switching. VNL routing methods preferred "down-chain" trunk connections between the originating Class 1 switch and a Class 3, Class 2, or Class 1 switch in a different region. Analog trunk connections between Class 1 switches were required to have a loss of zero decibels.
The VNL architecture was gradually phased out due to the conversion of network circuits from analog to digital and the related conversion to a non-hierarchical network routing schemes such as AT&T's
Dynamic Non-Hierarchical Routingor Nortel's Dynamically Controlled Routingmethods. See IEEEpublications for details on DNHRand DCR.
Service Evaluation System
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VNL — Via Net Loss ( > IEEE Standard Dictionary ) … Acronyms
VNLF — Via Net Loss Factor … Acronyms