Day in Tech History

October 15, 1985: IBM Announces Token Ring Network

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Day in Tech History

Jeffrey Powers

Madison, WI

Description: Technology History in a Daily Podcast

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October 15, 1985: IBM Announces Token Ring Network

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1985IBM announced, with co-developer Texas Instruments, the Token Ring network along with PC Network software – six months ahead of schedule. The Token Ring only did network transmission speed of 4 Mbps (It didn’t hit speeds of 16 Mbps until 1989), and worked over standard phone wiring.

Using terminated BNC cable, Token Ring created just that; a Ring connection that talks in one direction.

The standard was also known as the IEEE 802.5 protocol. Token Ring further developed to run 100 Mbps.

Eventually, Ethernet overtook Token Ring because it was cheaper to install, even though it was a better protocol than Ethernet.

Did/Does Cable TV Use Token Ring?

Cable companies use Fiber and Coaxial cable to bring Internet and TV into a home. The coaxial cable is similar looking to the cable used in some Token Ring networks, but the two technologies are different.

Some Token Ring cards did use a similar cable, but also used IBM’s hermaphroditic connector, and DB-9 connector. Some networks also used an RJ-45 or RJ-11 connector with the Twisted pair configuration.


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