TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bell South Plans Number Changes in Florida

Re: Bell South Plans Number Changes in Florida
12 Jul 2005 12:07:43 -0700

Iain Thomson wrote:

> Fast-growing northern St. Johns County will be moved from five phone
> exchanges into one.

This occured very often in the 1950s and 1960s as the Bell System
prepared for nationwide subscriber Direct Distance Dialing.

Before DDD, towns had strictly a local phone number. It could range
anywhere from 3 to 7 digits long as local needs required.

But for DDD, everyone had to have a unique addressable 10 digit
number. That meant everyone had to fit into a specified exchange
block and area code. Thus, communities had their numbers changed.
Someone who was perhaps 23 on an old system became (xxx) xxx-0023.

For many years, small communities needed only to dial 5 digits even
when having a 10 digit number.

This was a lot more complex than it sounds. SxS exchanges had to have
special handling to process 10 digits without adding unnecessary long
switch trains. Independent telcos had to be worked in.

A lot of people objected to 10 digit phone numbers. Comedian Alan
King made a big deal about them in his 1962 book. Critics said the
many numbers (and loss of beloved exchange names) dehumanized
telephone service. (Little did they know what was to come later!)

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: News Wire: "New Microsoft Patches Already Getting Exploited"
Go to Previous message: "Re: Non-Bell ESS?"
May be in reply to: Iain Thomson: "Bell South Plans Number Changes in Florida"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page