Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hamilton, Hallie J.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Journalism


Telecommunication systems; System analysis


The goal of this work was to identify the attributes which define the technical limits of communications systems. The history of communications law indicates that the regulatory environment of the broadcast media is predicated upon the perception of this media as a limited public resource. Advances in broadcast technology have radically altered the limits of braodcast media since its inception in the early part of this century, and converging technologies seem to be eliminating former distinctions between broadcast and other media. The paper employed the methods of inductive analysis and historical research. An inductive analysis of communications systems served to guide the investigation of historical and technical literature. The work first isolates the critical components common to all communications systems—the underlying conceptual representation of the message, the physical medium and the system used to encode or represent the message, and the transportation system used to deliver the message—and unearths a number of attributes which define the technical limits of each component. The work indicates that the primary attributes which define the technical limits of communications systems are: the richness of the underlying lexicon; the resolution, consistency and lifetime of the signalling medium; the conceptual power and technical sophistication of the signal encoding system; and the capacity, reliability, and speed of the transportation system.


Bibliography: pages 81-84.


vii, 84 pages




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