Methods and systems for provisioning network services

Methods and systems for provisioning network services

US007970914B2

(12) United States Patent

Bowen et al.

(10) Patent N0.:

(45) Date of Patent:

US 7,970,914 B2

*Jun. 28, 2011

(54)

(75) Inventors: Donald J. Bowen, Madison, NJ (US);

Richard H. Erving, Encinitas, CA (US);

Robert R. Miller, Convent Station, NJ

(US); John F. Murray, Denville, NJ

(US); Christopher W. Rice, Parsippany,

NJ (US)

(73)

Assignee: AT&T Intellectual Property II, LP,

Atlanta, GA (US)

Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35

USC 154(b) by 0 days.

This patent is subject to a terminal dis claimer.

(21)

Appl. N0.: 12/624,716

(22) Filed: Nov. 24, 2009

(65) Prior Publication Data

US 2010/0067407 A1 Mar. 18, 2010

Related US. Application Data

(63) Continuation of application No. 10/748,955, ?led on

Dec. 30, 2003, now Pat. No. 7,627,679.

(51)

(52)

(58)

Int. Cl.

G06F 15/16

H04M15/00

H04L 12/26

(2006.01)

(2006.01)

(2006.01)

US. Cl. ...... .. 709/227; 709/225; 709/226; 709/228;

709/229; 379/142.04; 379/100.16; 379/8804;

370/252; 370/254; 370/401

Field of Classi?cation Search ........ .. 709/227i229;

370/252, 254, 401; 379/142.01*142.18,

379/100.16, 880148828

See application ?le for complete search history.

(56) References Cited

U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS

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(Continued)

MSN Encarta Dictionary (2009), Available: http://encartamsncorn/ encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx? re?d:l86l62l587 (Accessed Jan. 30, 2009).

(Continued)

Michael K. Dixon

(57) ABSTRACT

Certain exemplary embodiments provide a method, compris ing: automatically detecting at an agent an installation of a communications device to a local network coupled to the agent; automatically offering via the communications device a plurality of user-selectable service options relating to a service provider’s network and relating to at least one capa bility of the communications device, the at least one capabil ity detected by the agent; in response to a selection of at least one service option from the plurality of service options, pro viding via the agent a user connection address.

15 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets

2000

& Provide agent 2100

Detect device installation on 2200

LAN

Detection capability of device

2300

Offer service options 2400

Connect to service provider Z500

Receive device information and/or selection of service 2600 option(s)

Provide user connection

2700

US 7,970,914 B2

Page 2

US. PATENT DOCUMENTS

5,781,536 A 7/1998 Ahmadiet a1‘

5 796 727 A 8/1998 H . l

’ ’

5,852,405 A 12/1998 Yoneda et a1.

.

5,870,385 A 2/1999 Ahmadiet al.

5923 702 A

’ ’

7/1999 B l

Tamera”

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5,991,292 A 11/1999 Focsaneanu et al.

6028 984 A * 2/2000 Kimball

’ ’

6,061,563 A 5/2000 Lee

6067 297 A 50000 B h

’ ’

6,374,307 B1

Fm

4/2002 R1stau et al.

709/249

6,438,123 131* 8/2002 Chapman ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ 370/351

6792082 B1* 9/2004 Levine ....................... .. 379/67.1

’ ’ .

6,795,846 B1 9/2004 Merriam

6862 291 B2 3/2005 T1 d

’ ’

6,868,268 B2 aPa e

3/2005 Worsham et al.

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7,065,070 B1* 6/2006 Chang ......................... .. 370/352

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2003/0023717 A1* 1/2003 Lister .......................... .. 709/224

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-

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Priggouris, et a1, “SIP-based Location Aware Services, 2002 Inter national Conference on Software”, Telecommunications and Com puter Networks, Oct. 2002.

Dana Pavel, et al, “Context Provisioning and SIP Events”, Nokia

W

6‘ 1’

. m f Ad t. d

“We “en? ,, n ms C re or aP‘Ve an

Context-awarewireless services ,Department of Computerand Sys terns Sciences Royal Institute of Technology.

Wobus, “DHCP FAQ”, Oct. 26, 1998, 15 pages, http://www.dhcp handbook.corn/dhcp.sub.--faq.htrn1.

_ _

* c1ted by examlner

US. Patent Jun. 28, 2011 Sheet 1 013

1000

1220

1240

1260

1200

1120

1140

1160

1320

1340

1360

US 7,970,914 B2

1720

1550

1500

Network

1600

1820

-

1740

-

1840

Fig. 1

US 7,970,914 B2

US. Patent

Jun. 28, 2011

Sheet 2 0f 3

2000

Provide agent

i

Detect device installation on

LAN

l

Detection capability of

device

l

Offer service options

l

Connect to service provider

l

Receive device information and/or selection of service

option(s) l

Provide user connection address

2100

2200

2300

2400

2500

2600

2700

Fig. 2

US. Patent Jun. 28, 2011 Sheet 3 013

3000

US 7,970,914 B2

User Interface 3 600

—> I/O 3 500

Memory 3300

Instructions 3400

—> Processor 3200

—> Network Interface 3100

Fig. 3

US 7,970,914 B2

1 2 addition, particular services are loaded and unloaded from the device based on the user preferences of the presumed user of the device.” See Abstract.

BACKGROUND

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

United States Patent Application 20030172170, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety, allegedly cites that a “communications system and method is provided that

A wide variety of potential embodiments will be more readily understood through the following detailed descrip includes multiple networked devices connected in a local area network and connected, via a gateway having enhanced func tionality, to a wide area network such as the Internet using one tion, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of or more Internet service providers. The system includes a source routing device (130), at least two networked customer premise equipment devices (118, 120), a gateway (123) for controlling communication between the source routing a system 1000;

FIG. 2 is a ?ow diagram of an exemplary embodiment of a method 2000; and

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of an information device 3000. device (130) and the customer premise equipment devices

(118, 120) and an address server (132) for providing the gateway (123) with at least two dynamically assigned Internet

SUMMARY protocol addresses corresponding to different Internet service

Certain exemplary embodiments provide a method, com providers (138, 140) to enable each of the customer premise

20 prising: automatically detecting at an agent an installation of equipment devices (118, 120) to establish simultaneous con a communications device to a local network coupled to the nections with the different Internet service providers (138, agent; automatically offering via the communications device

140).” See Abstract. a plurality of user-selectable service options relating to a

United States Patent Application 20030169752, which is service provider’s network and relating to at least one capa incorporated by reference herein in its entirety, allegedly cites

25 bility of the communications device, the at least one capabil that a “integrated phone-based home gateway system is dis closed. The integrated phone-based home gateway system ity detected by the agent; in response to a selection of at least one service option from the plurality of service options, pro includes a broadband communication device, such as digital viding via the agent a user connection address. subscriber line (‘DSL’) device, an analog modem, a wireless interface, integrated into a screen-phone for providing broad band communication service to home users. Multiple home

30

DEFINITIONS users are able to access the Internet and the content services for conducting e-commerce, receiving content news, enter taining on-demand, making audio or video communications, and telecommuting or working at home. This screen-phone

35 based, modular, plug-n-play home gateway interface allows in-home as well as to-home networking, provides automatic

When the following terms are used herein, the accompa

nying de?nitions apply:

useria customer or recipient of a service. requestian expression of human desire. serviceian activity provided for the bene?t of another. service providerian entity that offers to provide a service data and broadband initialization, con?guration and service provisioning, routing and bridging functionality and allows resource sharing among home devices via the existing phone

40 via a network. networkia communicatively-coupled plurality of com munication devices. Examples include wired and/or wire, wireless, coaxial or optical cable connections.” See

Abstract.

United States Patent Application 20030055945, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety, allegedly cites a “services de?nition language for seamlessly creating and

45 maintaining services over a network service reduces deploy ment time, cost, and maintenance, and increases reliability. wireless communications networks, such as public, pri vate, circuit-switched, packet-switched, connection

less, virtual, radio, telephone, POTS, non-POTS, PSTN, non-PSTN, cellular, cable, DSL, satellite, microwave,

twisted pair, IEEE 802.03, Ethernet, token ring, local ule scripts, such as an XML (Extensible Markup Language) script, recognized across the execution environment. Each

50 module script describes a network element, service, or sub scription. A plurality of available services are de?ned, in which each of the available services corresponds to one or more of the module scripts. A script processor interprets the module script and provides it to executable element genera tors conversant in the script language, which process the module scripts via a GUI to produce executable objects. A

55 service provisioning engine is operable to execute the execut able objects for providing the corresponding service via the network.” See Abstract.

60

United States Patent Application 20030120750, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety, allegedly cites that the “provisioning of user preferences to a device or ser vice is described. According to one embodiment of the inven tion, upon detecting a coupling of a device, a presumed user

65 of the device is determined. The user preferences of the pre sumed user are retrieved and used to con?gure the device. In area, wide area, IP, Internet, intranet, wireless, Ultra

Wide Band (UWB), Wi-Fi, BlueTooth, Airport, IEEE

802.11, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g,

X-10, and/or electrical power networks, etc., and/ or any equivalents thereof. agentia set of instructions comprised in hardware, ?rm ware, and/or software. installationia state of being installed. premisesiland and/or the buildings on it. couplingithe act of linking together. physical connectionia tangible link. automaticallyiacting or operating in a manner essentially independent of external in?uence or control. For example, an automatic light switch can turn on upon

“seeing” a person in its view, without the person manu ally operating the light switch. detectingithe act of sensing or perceiving. communications deviceian information device compris ing at least three of the following capabilities: process

ing, transmitting, receiving, and rendering.

local networkia network located substantially on the same premises as the user.

US 7,970,914 B2

3 4 service options4collections of parameters relating to a service or multiple services. For example, for an e-mail service, a user selectable e-mail address, a quantity of e-mail addresses, an e-mail server storage capacity, a service provider network connection speed, a number of connectable communications devices, an e-mail pricing plan, etc. As another example, for a telephone service, a calling plan, a call pricing plan, a call-waiting service, a

Such automatic provisioning can reduce labor costs for the service provider (by reducing and/ or eliminating installation labor), increase customer adoption rate (by providing a low barrier to acceptance), and/or provide a competitive advan tage over the LEC’s (by providing faster service provision ing). caller ID service, an audio quality, a number of connect able communications devices, etc. capabilityian ability that has potential for use. Examples include the type of device (e.g., POTS telephone, IP

In certain exemplary embodiments, the process can be encapsulated in software that resides at the customer’s pre mises inside the Network Agent, Interface Device, or Gate way and within the Network. With wireless gateways for

IEEE 802.11b available at retail (buy.com, et cetera), this phone (e.g., conforming to SIP, H.323, and/or MGCP/ process can allow any Multiple System Operator (MSO) to

MEGACO, etc. protocols), fax, printer, scanner, com offer second line voice services to cable modem customers, puter, multimedia device, cordless, wireless, etc.); net work connection of the device (e.g., POTS, cable, IP,

ethernet, wireless, 802.1 lb, etc.); processing ability,

memory, user interface, upgradablity, addressability, with little added cost.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of a system 1000, which can comprise one or more communi cations devices 1100, 1200, 1300. Communications device etc., of the device;

1100, 1200, and/or 1300 can be coupled, connected, and/or user connection addressian identi?er via which other 20 installed on a local area network 1400. Also coupled, con users can communicate via the service provider’s net nected, and/or installed on a local area network 1400 can be an information device 1500 running a network agent 1550, work with the user, such as an e-mail address, a tele phone number, an IP address, etc.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

25 which can detect one or more capabilities 1120, 1220, 1320 of communications devices 1100, 1200, 1300, respectively.

Information device 1500 can be coupled, connected, and/

Internet telephony, packet communications, home net works, and other innovations are driving a need to change the way that communication devices (telephones, computers, or installed on a service provider’s network 1600. Also coupled, connected, and/or installed on a service provider’s network 1600, can be one or more servers 1700, 1800. Server

1700, possibly utiliZing a database 1740 coupled thereto, can multimedia devices, etc.) that attach to a service provider’s

30 provide one or more services 1720 via network 1600 to agent network, are identi?ed, provisioned, served, and billed.

Opportunities exist to dramatically reduce the time/labor required to provision services on these new devices.

In certain exemplary embodiments, a “Network Agent”

1550, and/or communications device 1100, 1200, and/or

1300. Server 1800, possibly utilizing a database 1840 coupled thereto, can provide one or more services 1820 via network 1600 to agent 1550, and/or communications device can control access to a service provider’s network. The Net work Agent can be implemented in software, ?rmware, and/ or hardware. The Network Agent can be implemented in a network interface, network gateway, and/ or within the net work. The Network Agent can act as a proxy between a private network (e. g., wired or wireless, LAN, IP-based home

40 which one or more service options 1160, 1260, 1360, respec tively, relating to the service provider’s network 1600 can be rendered to a user of communications device 1100, 1200, allow administration of the private/public boundary.

35

In certain exemplary embodiments, a user can:

1. Subscribe to a service provider network and obtain a

“Network Agent” interface.

45

1100,1200,and/or 1300.

Each communications device 1100, 1200, 1300 can com prise a user interface 1140, 1240, 1340, respectively, via

1300. Service options 1140, 1240, 1340 can relate to network

1600, services 1720, 1820 available via network 1600, and/or capabilities 1120, 1220, 1320 of communications devices

1100,1200, 1300.

FIG. 2 is a ?ow diagram of an exemplary embodiment of a

2. Obtain a new communications device (such as a handset or computer) method 2000. At activity 2100, a network agent can be pro vided for installation on a user’s premises. The agent can be

3. Use the new devices to access the service provider net work provisioning process to request service provided upon user request. The agent can be adapted to couple to a service provider’s network via a physical connec

4. Have services authorized by the service provider

5. Provision services delivered by the service provider network

50 tion, which can comprise for example, a modem (e. g., cable,

DSL, telephone, wireless), optical ?ber connection, and/or free-space optics connection, etc. The agent can be adapted to a service provider to obtain service, and is provided with a high bandwidth connection (e.g. cable, DSL, ?xed-wireless,

?ber, or free-space optics, etc.) and a local “Network Agent”

55 couple to a local area network associated with the user’s premises.

At activity 2200, the agent can automatically detect instal lation of a communications device on the local area network.

(perhaps housed in an interface unit such as a “set-top box”) equipped with a wireless “home base stations”. At this point the customer is free to purchase devices (eg telephones, computers, multimedia devices) at retail outlets (e.g.,

RadioShack, CompUSA) and bring them home. The devices could then register through the Network Agent with the ser vice provider’s network, could be provided with a suite of service options, and could be provided with a network con

The communications device can be any information device, such as a computer, telephone, multimedia device, etc.

At activity 2300, via a detector coupled to and/or integral to

60 the agent, the agent can automatically detect one or more capabilities of the communications device.

At activity 2400, via a user interface of the communica tions device, a user can be automatically offered one or more user-selectable service options relating to the service provid nection/contact address (eg telephone number, e-mail

65 er’s network, which can include one or more services and/or address, IP address, username, etc.). Thus, communication devices can be identi?ed and attached to a service provider’ s one or more servers. The one or more user-selectable service options can relate to at least one capability of the communi

US 7,970,914 B2

5 6 cations device. The user-selectable service options can be device 3500, etc. User interface 3600 can be used to render

provided before, after, and/or irregardless of, registration of

user-selectable service options to a user of information device the communications device With the service provider’s net

3000.

Work.

At activity 2500, the communications device and/or net

As used herein, the term “information device” means any device capable of processing information, such as any general

Work agent can be communicatively coupled to the service provider’s netWork. Thus, the communications device and/or purpose and/ or special purpose computer, such as a personal computer, Workstation, server, minicomputer, mainframe, supercomputer, computer terminal, laptop, Wearable com netWork agent can communicate With one or more agents,

At activity 2600, the service provider’s netWork can auto matically receive from the communications device and/or puter, and/ or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), mobile termi services, and/ or servers on the service provider’s netWork. netWork agent information su?icient to register the commu nication device and/or the netWork agent and/or one can nal, Bluetooth device, communicator, “smart” phone (such as a Handspring Treo-like device), messaging service (e. g.,

Blackberry) receiver, pager, facsimile, cellular telephone, a traditional telephone, telephonic device, a programmed microprocessor or microcontroller and/ or peripheral inte receive or more user-selected service options. Based on the received information and/or service options, the service pro grated circuit elements, an ASIC or other integrated circuit, a hardWare electronic logic circuit such as a discrete element vider’s netWork can authoriZe the user, the communications circuit, and/or a programmable logic device such as a PLD,

PLA, FPGA, or PAL, or the like, etc. In general any device on or more services and/or servers of the service provider’s

Which resides a ?nite state machine capable of implementing netWork.

For example, upon registration of a communications

20 at least a portion of a method, structure, and/or or graphical device, and assuming that certain user-selectable service options have not yet already been provided by the agent, the netWork can provide user-selectable service options catered ponents such as one or more netWork interfaces, one or more processors, one or more memories containing instructions, to the communications device. For instance, if the device is an

25

IP phone lacking a display, the selectable service options can relate to non-visual user interface services, such as push but ton and/or spoken commands for voicemail management, call forWarding, caller ID, etc.

As another example, via registration and/or receipt of user and/or one or more input/output (I/O) devices, one or more user interfaces, etc.

As used herein, the term “netWork interface” means any device, system, or subsystem capable of coupling an infor mation device to a netWork. For example, a netWork interface

30 can be a telephone, cellular phone, cellular modem, telephone selectable service options, the service provider’s netWork could recogniZe that the communications device is a tele data modem, fax modem, Wireless transceiver, ethemet card,

cable modem, digital subscriber line interface, bridge, hub,

router, or other similar device. phone connected to the service provider’s netWork via cable

As used herein, the term “processor” means a device for modem, and could then offer competitive local exchange

35 carrier (CLEC) telephone service to the user and/ or commu a central processing unit, a local processor, a remote proces nications device.

As yet another example, via receipt of registration infor mation and/or service options, the service provider’s netWork sor, parallel processors, and/or distributed processors, etc.

The processor can be a general-purpose microprocessor, such the Pentium III series of microprocessors manufactured by could doWnload an updated user manual, user interface, oper

ating system, patch, security softWare, applications, clients,

40 the Intel Corporation of Santa Clara, Calif. In another embodiment, the processor can be an Application Speci?c agents, Wizards, set-up WiZards, etc. to the communications device.

At activity 2700, the service provider’s netWork can auto matically provide a user connection address to the netWork

45

Integrated Circuit (ASIC) or a Field Programmable Gate

Array (FPGA) that has been designed to implement in its hardWare and/or ?rmware at least a part of an embodiment disclosed herein. agent and/or the communications device. The user connec As used herein, a “memory device” means any hardWare tion address can be, for example, a telephone number, e-mail address, IP address, etc.

Upon provision of the user connection address, the com volatile memory, volatile memory, Random Access Memory,

RAM, Read Only Memory, ROM, ?ash memory, magnetic munications device can utiliZe the user connection address to

50 media, a hard disk, a ?oppy disk, a magnetic tape, an optical obtain one or more services (e.g., telephone service, IP tele media, an optical disk, a compact disk, a CD, a digital versa phony e-mail, neWsgroups, FTP, Web access, chat, voicemail, electronic fax, integrated messaging, etc.) from the service provider’s netWork. Via the user connection address and/or element capable of data storage, such as for example, a non

As used herein, the term “?rmware” means machine-read able instructions that are stored in a read-only memory the registration of the communication device and/ or netWork

55

(ROM). ROM’s can comprise PROMs and EPROMs.

As used herein, the term “I/O device” means any sensory agent, the service provider’s netWork can account for a ser vice provided to the communications device via the service provider’s netWork.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of oriented input and/ or output device, such as an audio, visual, haptic, olfactory, and/or taste-oriented device, including, for example, a monitor, display, projector, overhead display, key an information device 3000, Which can represent any of com munication devices 1100, 1200, 1300,1500,and/or any serv ers 1700, 1800 of FIG. 1. Information device 3000 can com prise any of numerous Well-knoWn components, such as for example, one or more netWork interfaces 3100, one or more

60

board, keypad, mouse, trackball, joystick, gamepad, Wheel, touchpad, touch panel, pointing device, microphone, speaker,

video camera, camera, scanner, printer, haptic device, vibra tor, tactile simulator, and/ or tactile pad, potentially including a port to Which an I/O device can be attached or connected. processors 3200, one or more memories 3300 containing

65 instructions 3400, one or more input/output (I/O) devices

3500, and/or one or more user interfaces 3600 coupled to I/O

As used herein, the term “haptic” means both the human sense of kinesthetic movement and the human sense of touch.

Among the many potential haptic experiences are numerous

US 7,970,914 B2

7 sensations, body-positional differences in sensations, and time-based changes in sensations that are perceived at least partially in non-visual, non-audible, and non-olfactory man ners, including the experiences of tactile touch (being touched), active touch, grasping, pressure, friction, fraction,

slip, stretch, force, torque, impact, puncture, vibration, motion, acceleration, jerk, pulse, orientation, limb position,

gravity, texture, gap, recess, viscosity, pain, itch, moisture, temperature, thermal conductivity, and thermal capacity.

As used herein, the term “user interface” means any device for rendering information to a user and/or requesting infor textual, graphical, audio, video, animation, and/ or haptic ele

8 mary, abstract, draWing ?gure, etc.) of this application, unless clearly speci?ed to the contrary, there is no requirement for the inclusion in any claim of the application of any particular described or illustrated activity or element, any particular sequence of such activities, or any particular interrelationship of such elements. Moreover, any activity can be repeated, any activity can be performed by multiple entities, and/or any element can be duplicated. Further, any activity or element can be excluded, the sequence of activities can vary, and/or the interrelationship of elements can vary. Accordingly, the descriptions and draWings are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive. Moreover, When any number or range is described herein, unless clearly stated otherWise, that printer, monitor, display, projector, etc. A graphical element can be provided, for example, via a monitor, display, proj ec tor, and/or visual indication device, such as a light, ?ag, beacon, etc. An audio element can be provided, for example, via a speaker, microphone, and/or other sound generating herein, unless clearly stated otherWise, that range includes all values therein and all subranges therein. Any information in any material (e. g., a United States patent, United States patent application, book, article, etc.) that has been incorporated by reference herein, is only incorporated by reference to the ment can be provided, for example, via a monitor, display,

20 extent that no con?ict exists betWeen such information and the other statements and draWings set forth herein. In the event of such con?ict, including a con?ict that Would render provided, for example, via a very loW frequency speaker, vibrator, tactile stimulator, tactile pad, simulator, keyboard, keypad, mouse, trackball, joystick, gamepad, Wheel, touch pad, touch panel, pointing device, and/or other haptic device,

25 a claim invalid, then any such con?icting information in such incorporated by reference material is speci?cally not incor porated by reference herein. etc.

What is claimed is: such as, for example, one or more letters, number, symbols, ments such as, for example, an image, photograph, draWing,

icon, Window, title bar, panel, sheet, tab, draWer, matrix, table,

form, calendar, outline vieW, frame, dialog box, static text, text box, list, pick list, pop-up list, pull-doWn list, menu, tool bar, dock, check box, radio button, hyperlink, broWser, but

ton, control, palette, previeW panel, color Wheel, dial, slider,

scroll bar, cursor, status bar, stepper, and/or progress indica

selecting, programming, adjusting, changing, specifying, etc.

30

35 an appearance, background color, background style, border

40 style, border thickness, foreground color, font, font style, font siZe, alignment, line spacing, indent, maximum data length, validation, query, cursor type, pointer type, autosiZing, posi responsive to a request by a user for at least one service relating to a service provider’s netWork, receiving, via a netWork interface device associated With a user, an agent con?gured for installation at a local network and con

?gured to couple to the service provider’ s netWork via a physical connection at the local netWork; automatically detecting, by the agent, an installation of a communications device at the local netWork, the com munications device being a telephone lacking a display; responsive to the agent detecting the installation of the communications device at the local netWork, automati cally detecting, by the agent, at least one capability of the communications device; and automatically offering, via the communications device, a plurality of user-selectable service options relating to the service provider’ s netWork and the at least one capa bility of the communications device as detected by the or more audio elements such as, for example, a volume con trol, pitch control, speed control, voice selector, and/or one or more elements for controlling audio play, speed, pause, fast agent, the plurality of user-selected options related to a non-visual user interface service, and at least one user selectable service option comprising an option for video elements such as, for example, elements controlling video play, speed, pause, fast forWard, reverse, Zoom-in,

50 one or more animation elements such as, for example, ele ments controlling animation play, pause, fast forWard, reverse, Zoom-in, Zoom-out, rotate, tilt, color, intensity, speed, frequency, appearance, etc. A user interface can

55 include one or more haptic elements such as, for example, elements utiliZing tactile stimulus, force, pressure, vibration, motion, displacement, temperature, etc.

Still other embodiments Will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from reading the above-recited

60 detailed description and draWings of certain exemplary embodiments. It should be understood that numerous varia doWnloading an updated user manual.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising: registering the communications device With the service provider’s netWork, the communications device coupled to the service provider’ s netWork via a cable modem, the plurality of user-selectable service option further com prising a competitive local exchange carrier telephone service.

3. The method of claim 1, further comprising: accounting for service provided to the communications device via the service provider’s netWork.

4. The method of claim 1, Wherein the physical connection comprises a cable modem.

5. The method of claim 1, Wherein the physical connection comprises a DSL modem. tions, modi?cations, and additional embodiments are pos sible, and accordingly, all such variations, modi?cations, and embodiments are to be regarded as being Within the spirit and

65 scope of the appended claims. For example, regardless of the

6. The method of claim 1, Wherein the physical connection comprises a telephone modem.

7. The method of claim 1, Wherein the physical connection content of any portion (e.g., title, ?eld, background, sum

45 comprises a Wireless modem.

US 7,970,914 B2

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the physical connection comprises an optical ?ber connection.

9. The method of claim 1, Wherein the physical connection comprises a free-space optics connection.

10. The method of claim 1, Wherein the non-visual user interface services comprise push button services for caller ID.

11. The method of claim 1, further comprising: providing a user connection address, Wherein the user con nection address is a telephone number.

12. The method of claim 1, further comprising: providing a user connection address, Wherein the user con nection address is an e-mail address.

13. The method of claim 1, further comprising: providing a user connection address, Wherein the user con nection address is an IP address. ing computer executable instructions for activities compris ing: responsive to a request by a user for at least one service

20 relating to a service provider’s netWork, receiving, via a netWork interface device associated With a user, an agent con?gured for installation on a local netWork and con

?gured to couple to the service provider’ s netWork via a physical connection at the local network; automatically detecting, by the agent, an installation of a

25 communications device at the local netWork, the com munications device being a telephone lacking a display; responsive to the agent detecting the installation of the communications device at the local netWork, automati cally detecting, by the agent, at least one capability of the

30 communications device; and

10 automatically offering, via the communications device, a plurality of user-selectable service options relating to the service provider’ s netWork and the at least one capa bility of the communications device as detected by the agent, the plurality of user-selected options related to a non-visual user interface service.

15. A system comprising: an agent con?gured to be received, via a netWork interface device, in response to a request by a user for at least one service relating to a service provider’s netWork; the agent further con?gured for installation at a local net

Work;

the agent further con?gured to couple to a service provid er’s netWork via a physical connection at the local net

Work;

a communications device installed on the local netWork, the communications device being a telephone lacking a display; the agent further con?gured to automatically detect the installation of the communications device at the local

netWork;

the agent further con?gured to automatically detect at least one capability of the communications device responsive to the agent detecting the installation of the communi cations device at the local netWork; and the communications device con?gured to offer a plurality of user-selectable service options relating to the service provider’s netWork and the at least one capability of the communications device as detected by the agent, the user-selected options related to a non-visual user inter face service.

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