Re: [telecom] [TELECOM] Re: 1+10D, was 11X and N11 Codes

Here in New York, calls are all 7D within the NPA, or 1+10D anywhere,

>unrelated to local or toll. It's the perfect dialing plan, you know.

Very stupid if you don't have to dial 1+ for toll. Toll alerting should be instituted on all landlines if you have to pay toll. Now I know that places like New York City have had local call message units since the inception of Panel and #1XB switching, but a number of people still don't know when a place is toll or not.

Back when I lived in Pennsylvania in the 90s, we had that problem all the time. Many people would call me not knowing it was toll, and then got their long distance bill. OOPS! I tried to tell these people, but they wouldn't listen. Too late!

Toll alerting is still a necessary thing for landlines. Until toll is eliminated (or a flat rate toll), then 1+ on all toll calls should be instituted.


Reply to
Diamond Dave
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On Wed, 16 Jan 2008, Diamond Dave posted:

ISTR that in the 1970s there was no such thing as "not a toll call" in New York City. You had some number of message units bundled with your service, so if you kept your message unit calling below a certain threshold it would seem to be "free"; but it was "free" the way that minutes on your cell phone are "free". Flat rate local calling was not offered.

This was a *huge* issue for modem users. This was back in the days when

300 baud was a "high speed". On top of that, there were claims that you were supposed to pay the phone company a fee for a DAA even though you were using an acoustic coupler (this was widely disregarded, but the issue came to a head a few years later with 1200 bps modems).

Flat rate local calling was available in New Jersey, but of course NYC was (and AFAIK remains) a toll call from there. However, some nicer companies had NJ modem numbers for their employees...

I left in 1977, so I don't know if, or when, any of this changed.

-- Mark --

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does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate. Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Reply to
Mark Crispin

Sigh. As I said two messages ago:

Returning to the current rant:

When I lived near Boston, a "local" message unit call dialed with 7D was often more expensive than a "toll" call dialed with 1+7D or 1+10D. Before anyone suggests that the message unit calls should use 1+, the area subject to message unit charges depends on what monthly plan you have. For that matter, most LECs offer national flat rate plans where all calls in the US are free. Do those customers get to opt out from the 1+ nonsense?

R's, John

Reply to
John L

Beginning in roughly 1965, phone customers in NYC had, as you mentioned, umptity message units (my recollection is it started out at 100, and in later years was dropped to 75, then 50, then zero...) included in their base rate.

Some earlier customers had a true "flat rate" with unlimited calls, but that only applied to a very small area in their immediate neighborhood.

(Those folk were grandfathered in, and ther emight still be a few around - just like there are still some "rent control"ed apartments).

The standard message unit call was untimed, and let you call (more or less) your entire borough and parts of the others. In other words it did _not_ cover the whole city.

If you were at one end and called the other, your initial "drop" was two (or possibly even three) message units, and then more units every couple of minutes.

In 1975 or so, NY Telephone modified the tariffs so that _all_ business customers were put onto a _timed_ basis for all their calls, so there was no more "grabbing a line for a month for a dime".

(As three way calling started becoming available in the mid 1970's, I heard tales that businesses would get a line set up in a worker's home and have them make a 3-way call to the two business locations and unplug the handset. Not that I know anything about that).

They also offered a similar timed rate to residential customers with the carrot being the basic monthly rate was a couple of dollars less. This actually did make sense for a small number of people who didn't originate more than a handful of outgoing calls.

Reply to
danny burstein

Calls were and are untimed. They cost about 10 cents, but you could stay on all day and all night for a dime so long as you didn't hang up.

Well, sort of huge. If it was huge, you could always move to Staten Island where flat rate is still available.

R's, John

Reply to
John L

Back in the mid 1990s, I ran a computer Bulletin Board System (BBS) (well, I still do, but I moved it to the Internet via Telnet)

I had people call my BBS from nearby areas, but a toll call to my ratecenter. I TOLD them they were calling long distance, but they didn't believe me. WHY? Because they just dialed 7D !!

1+10D is NECESSARY until the time we no longer pay for toll. Toll alerting is needed to prevent this from happening, no matter what people like John Levine say. :)


Reply to
Diamond Dave

Rhode Island has done away with toll alerting. Years ago when it was mandatory you had to dial a 1+7D for toll. Now it's just straight 7D or

10D for long distance.

Being that my VoIP services gives me a pretty wide calling area means toll alerting is mostly useless anyhow.

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Message units were confusing because the number of units per call varied by zone. The further the zone, the more units for the initial call AND more units for overtime periods. The phonebook had a chart showing the timing rules.

Did residential customers in NYC have no flat rate option at all? How about now? With a family with kids I could see very expensive phone bills, especially if even local calls were timed.

In Philadelphia, local calls were 1 unit and untimed for message rate subscribers, and free for residential flat rate subscribers. Business subscribers had only message rate service*. The untimed aspect meant if you made a local call and talked for an hour, it was still only 1 unit, which could be a major cost savings for teenagers. Subscribers got an allotment of units each month. Calls to distant suburbs were message units depending on the distance. In later years "Metropolitan" service was offered which was flat rate to the whole area. This was expensive. Not that many city people got it, but it was common for suburbanites. Today, the plan is called "measured service" and it is still in use. They give night discounts and have reduced the number of units for many calls but otherwise the plan is essentially the same as in the past.

*Back in the 1940s there was a competing company, Keystone Telephone, that specialized in business services and offered flat rate service to business. Many businesses had both a Bell phone and Keystone phone. Bell bought them out.

I have never heard anyone paying the phone company or even having a DAA if they had an acoustic coupler. The phoneco had nothing to do with setups involving an acoustic coupler, any phone could be used.

Indeed, many people illegally hooked modems up directly to the phone line without a DAA.

I understand many years ago NJ and NY had local dialing arrangements, but I don't know when that was discontinued.

By the time 1200 and higher modems came out, AT&T had lowered long distance rates quite a bit, especially for off peak dialed direct calls. Late night/weekend calls were quite cheap, although an hour every day still added up. Back in those years some 'store and forward' packet switching networks developed.

Also, the cost of a message unit remained relatively stable, so the cost of a local phone call relative to inflation dropped significantly. Today we forget that almost every business had a pay phone in the lobby for customers and employees to use; sometimes it served as the phone for the business. Large commercial buildings had a pay phone on every floor. Today there are house phones readilly available for free local calls.

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I find it so odd that New York Telephone got away with that but here in what was New England Telephone land unlimited lines were the norm and many had pretty big calling areas.

The Providence, RI ratecenter allowed calling to 75% of the exchanges in the state under the unlimited plan. Whats more, New England Telephone was very profitable to Ma Bell, which is why we got fairly good gear before some other areas.

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The Bell System was not as standardized as people think, particularly in terms of tarffis. Some of the structure to this day dates back to the earliest days of service and other economics.

Different state PUCs and different early telephone companies developed different billing structures. Undoubtedly some protocols depended simply on what was economical at the time it was developed.

I believe big urban areas tend to generate much higher calling volumes than small towns and rural areas. That required the phoneco to install more physical plant (switching and trunks) per line to serve the volume. That had to be paid for in a reasonable equitable manner.

I know that in NYC a phone call cost 5c from the early 1900s. I have no idea how they collected billing data when it was manual, did the operators have to write down every call? Operator switchboards were pretty sophisticated by the 1920s and they already have had call meters in them. Anyway, panel had meters which were photographed each month. That's just the way phone service developed in NYC.

I suspect in other cities the calling volume, especially by residences, was not as high and the cost of installing and processing banks of meters could not be justified by the extra revenue it would generate. Perhaps small towns didn't even offer message rate service. HOWEVER, the local calling area and the number of people within said area was far, far smaller than in NYC. For example, in a small town you probably had only one department store to call, but in NYC there were many. A homemaker in NYC could make quite a few calls calling businesses to shop for the best deal while a small town person may have had only one choice and one call. Large extended families all lived within the city while in a small town many people would leave upon adulthood.

Getting back to NYC, remember that much in high volume telephone traffic was done first in NYC. For better or worse NYC led the country. Sometimes that meant NYC was the "drawing board" and after something new was done in NYC, the experience gained would result in other places getting an improved version later; NYC would be stuck with the original.

NYC was also expensive to provide service--it required more underground conduits at an earlier time, real estate for telephone buildings was expensive, and the telephone company was always subject to very close scrutiny by the news media, government, and business community. Meeting high volume needs was never easy. Often, as reported in the New York Times, NYC suffered shortages of phoneco personnel or lines while New Jersey cities had no problem. NYC had the bad service crisis, bad CO fire, etc. (though other places also had some similar problems.) People were complaining about the quality and cost of NYC telephone service in 1910.

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