The talk about rate centers reminded me of a question about how rural telephone service is handled today.
Until the 1970s, the local loop to a subscriber was limited to a finite distance; otherwise expensive repeaters were required. Given that, a small community would its own central office to accomodate calls within the 'community of interest'. In a sense, that office acted as a 'concentrator' to connect the community to other places. Instead of running expensive long loops for each of several hundred subscribers, only some trunks were provided.
The Bell System developed "community dial offices" which were designed for only a few hundred lines. These were unattended. Due to the high fixed cost of common control, step by step remained the switch of choice but eventually compact ESS became economical for such offices.
But that was then. Do they still bother with community dial offices today or have some sort of modern concentrator/transmission line that takes a community's local loops and economically sends it to a larger office?
Any comments on how rural phone service is offered today would be appreciated. Thanks!
P.S. Trivia--in 1970 the Bell System had 11 (eleven) manual offices left. I know one was Santa Catalina Island, off of California, and it was the last to be automated, using a compact ESS described above. I was wondering what the other ten were. This does not include manual offices of Independents. (People in such offices, or those without DDD still got the benefit of discounted direct dial long distance rates.)