Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
the research laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Dorothy M. Cerni

Abstract: Telecommunication and computer technologies are merging, stimulating such global communication projects as the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Reference Model. The systems of standards needed to ensure worldwide success of these projects are being developed. These efforts, of unprecedented complexity, are demanding an increase in knowledgeable, dedicated standards workers. This report offers background material on the meaning, significance, and changing nature of standards and their development, both in the United States and internationally. The importance of international standardization to U.S. industry is stressed. Building on this foundation, the ISDN and OSI standardization efforts are presented as the consequences of converging technological advances worldwide. The increased cooperation among standards organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT) is documented. The report concludes with a summary of responsibilities and desired characteristics of standards writers.

Keywords: telecommunication standards; CCITT; ISDN; Study Group XVIII; ANSI; American National Standards; computer standards; FCC; GATT Standards Code; IEC; international standards; ISO; OSI Reference Model; regulations; ASC T1; TC97; voluntary standards; ASC X3

To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

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