Free fundamentals class

If you're new to IT or looking for an introduction for someone who wants to learn more about the field, check out Alcatel's free "Fundamentals of Communications" course available online. Experienced IT pros may even find this useful as a refresher on certain aspects of voice or data networking.

Alcatel is offering the course to promote the understanding, implementation, and use of voice and data communications technologies. The Web-based course takes approximately 10 hours to complete. It is organized so students can work at their own pace and review lessons as desired.

Course curriculum is segmented into these chapters: Introduction to Networking, The Personal Computer, Physical Infrastructure, Data Packet, LAN Protocols, Bridging, Routing, Switching, Security Services, Network Operating Systems, Wide Area Networks, Network Management Systems, Advanced Network Services, Voice Communications, and Convergence.

Although offered by Alcatel, the course content is vendor-neutral. The US National Association of Communication Systems Engineers (NACSE) uses the Fundamentals of Communications course as a foundational course for solutions providers. And it's the same course that's been used by many K-12 schools and higher education institutions.

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