TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: 900 Service and AT&T

900 Service and AT&T

Anthony Bellanga (anthonybellanga@withheld)
Sat, 15 Jan 2005 17:03:12 -0700

PAT, to reduce $pam, please REMOVE all references to my email address.

In "Re: Young Cell Users Rack Up Debt, One Dime at a Time",
Pat added the following note:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The same situation works here in the
> USA with many '900 numbers'. For example, 900-410-TIME, the talking
> clock from the Naval Observatory can be reached on 202-653-1920, and
> you don't have to pay the fee for using the 900 version of the number.
> Although, the fifty cents charged is not that bad, but many of the 900
> numbers used for sex talk get quite expensive.

The 900-410 code was one of the AT&T 900 codes dating back to about
1980 when AT&T changed 900 from being a "choke" mass calling special
area code, to the "Dial-It" that ultimately evolved by the mid-80s into
"pay-per-call" and was also becoming carrier competitive.

When AT&T's "Dial-It" took effect circa 1980, the charge for 900-410
was 50-c the first minute and 35-c each additional minute. Most other
(AT&T) 900 office codes were only 50-c a call but those were usually
for brief "voting" purposes only, not something you'd stay connected
to for an indefinite extended period of time.

By the mid-1980s, AT&T began raising the rates on their 900 codes,
where each 900 office code (sometimes broken further to the thousand
block) had unique and varied rates.

And in the later 1980s, other competitive carriers began to be involved
with 900, with their own 900 office codes and expensive rates.

AT&T has totally discontinued their Dial-It 900, sometime around 1982
or 1983. ALL of AT&T's 900 office codes have since been returned to
Neustar NANPA. The one used by the "Time" (and sevearl other customers)
900-410, was one returned to Neustar-NANPA. And they have NOT reassigned
the 900-410 code.

Thus, 900-410-TIME or for that matter ANY 900-410-XXXX number that did
exist is no longer around.

You can see a list of current 900 office code assignments at the
following page from Neustar-NANPA's website:

There are still assignments of 900 office codes, but none to AT&T

Note that there is NO portability between carriers for 900 numbers.
A company with a 900 number that wants to change carriers must get a
completely new number based on the 900 office code of the new carrier.

Also, the calling party has no choice of carrier for calling 900
numbers. You can NOT dial a (so-called) "ten-ten" code (i.e.,
101XXXX+) before the 1-900 number. The 900 office code as dialed
determines the carrier to handle the 900 call.

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