10 digit dialing coming soon

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,180
Noticed this on my local Telco/ISP. With this kind of crap, landlines will go the way of the Dodo...
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Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,180
Do you have to dial 10 digits to call the next-door neighbor? I rarely use a cell phone except for travel. In fact I rarely telephone at all. I guess you can call this the boonies since we only have ~14,000 residents in this county.
 

bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
21,240
Hello,

When I make a call inside my town, I can use 7 numbers.
When I make a call outside my town, I have to use 10 numbers.
When I make a call with my mobile phone, I must also use 10 numbers.
The only shorter numbers are the emergency and information numbers.

Bertus
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
26,740
I usually use speed-dial from my phone's phone-book to call a number so the number of digits is immaterial.
With this kind of crap, landlines will go the way of the Dodo...
If you haven't noticed, that's already largely happened.
Many people have dumped it and just use their cellphone.
My landline is VOIP over the internet (Ooma).
It's about 1/4 the cost of my old pots landline and has many options for blocking junk calls.
Virtually all my junk calls now go directly to voice mail without ringing.
 
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Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
2,381
Sam, the reason for 10-digit dialing is not to make it harder for people. Routing calls requires knowing what the numbers mean. Thanks to the proliferation of DIDs (Direct Inward Dialing numbers) starting in the 90's with fax and modems and continuing with cell phones, more and more exchanges had to be made useful for local areas.

First we got +1 dialing, for exchanges that were not supposed to be handled by the local switch. For example, your rate center might have "536" as an exchange while "537" might be in a different one. As you dial, your call is routed and it isn't until the "7" that the local switch knows it is not supposed to handle the call, it also doesn't know how to route it, so with the +1, it can be handed off to a "tandem" that can deal with it.

At this point, the +1 isn't enough. By adding the area code, it is possible to route, simply and reliably, any call. You can think of the 10-digit number as your fully qualified address and the routing tables have gotten too complicated to be broken up like in the past.

I use VoIP, and run my own phone service instead of buying something packaged, but I miss my twisted pair. I am sad to see so much of the last mile hanging from the poles blowing in the wind. The copper plant was a thing of beauty, we'll never have it again.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
26,740
Another nice thing about my VOIP service is that I could port my pots home phone number from Los Angeles to Denver when we recently moved.
That way I didn't have to inform everyone about a new phone number.
I don't believe that's possible with a pots line.
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,180
With the proliferation of cells, none of our 4 kids have a landline. This isn't a bad thing since my wife can call our kids all over the world on her cell for free not to mention the daily calls our grandkids make to us on Video over IP on the Google device they gave us. I figured they were running out of numbers was the reason for 10 digits. But with the proliferation of cells you would think that landlines were going down except for businesses. I guess it's time for me to look into VOIP.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
2,381
With the proliferation of cells, none of our 4 kids have a landline. This isn't a bad thing since my wife can call our kids all over the world on her cell for free not to mention the daily calls our grandkids make to us on Video over IP on the Google device they gave us. I figured they were running out of numbers was the reason for 10 digits. But with the proliferation of cells you would think that landlines were going down except for businesses. I guess it's time for me to look into VOIP.
If you want to have fun with it, take a look at VoIP.ms, and an ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) which will get you dialtone on all your existing phones, and run your own phone service. It's cheap as dirt, prepaid. A DID (phone number) is less than a buck a month, the per minute rate will be less than one cent.

The cool thing is that you can make IVRs (voice menus), block numbers at will (those I don't want calling get a "this number is not in service" message) and even set up fax that you send and receive by email, among other cool things.

If you don't want to play with it, you can get packaged service, but I really like being my own phone company.
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
3,783
We have had 8 digit for local calls, plus 2 digit area code for the rest for years now here. Of course, you can dial local numbers including the area code, but it is redundant.
Mobile phones (cell phones) are 10 digits.
I think Australia has been well ahead of USA phone systems for a long time. When in USA quite a few years ago, dialing long distance still had the operator come on to "assist" with connecting the call.
That was odd to me as we had been able to direct dial for ages.
I think a lot has to do with all the private industry telcos there all wanting to do their own thing. Originally, the phone system was government run so the whole of Oz worked together with the same system.

@Yaakov has a good point. Have a look at VOIP!
As my wife is from USA, we called there often, and going to VOIP saved us MANY dollars. Under that system, an untimed call to USA cost us 8 Cents. A big difference to the few $ per minute the "real" phone was.
But now, I have unlimited internet and phone, both local and international, all covered for around $80AU a month (about $62US). Quite happy with that.
But the VOIP was good as I had my own VPN setup, and could call in to home and dial out world wide. In fact, when in USA, I'd get WiFi on my phone and start up the VOIP phone app, log into home here in Oz, and call the USA numbers.
And my home phone was hooked into my PBX and would call the VOIP extensions. So, while overseas, I could answer home calls too. Great except for the time zone differences!
 
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Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,180
I guess with cell and VoIP replacing landline the ole paper phone book will also fade into obscurity.
 

ApacheKid

Joined Jan 12, 2015
377
Things have very much changed. When I was in college in the late 1970s in the UK part of our material covered telephones and exchanges and so on (it was actually a lot of material).

At this time replacing Strowger equipment with crossbar was well under way and replacing cross bar with a thing called System X was just starting.

I recall our lectures on exchanges and "director" exchanges as they were once called.

Prior to this the number you dialed (it was obviously all pulse dialing back then) to reach someone depended on where you were dialing from ! this is one of the roles served by the switchboard girls.

This was because the original dialing system was about connecting to some exchange and then having the exchange connect to a subscriber.

It was actually fascinating stuff back then, we visited several Strowger exchanges in Liverpool and they were underground and had huge rooms full of lead acid batteries, tons and tons of wires coming in through the walls and slithering off to various places in the exchange.

The noise was maddening, all of these Strowger switches jumping around all the time, when a large event like a sports game ending or some big political event ended the noise would ramp, as thousands of people started making calls.
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,180
served by the switchboard girls.
A guy I worked with was an operator back in the '60s. Told me he was repeatedly getting into arguments often with customers who wanted to speak with a "real operator" and they were going to report him for impersonating an operator on the phone. Didn't matter that they got to him by dialing O. Yeah we had a huge problem with mechanical relays back in the '80s using modems. They could only reliably pass 1200 baud even though their operating regulations specified 9600 baud as the minimum required by law. Since we were having to pay long-distance rates, I got the GA State Public Service Commissioner involved and he yanked their chain about it. AT&T showed him their contract which stated that basically if we didn't like their service we didn't have to use it and they were NOT going to replace the mechanical relay rack with a solid-state high-speed one anytime in the foreseeable future so take it or leave it and they didn't care which. Lost that battle.
 
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