Neal McLain wrote:
> 211 Community Information and Referral Services
Not sure that's such a good idea.
> 311 Non-Emergency Police and Other Governmental Services
When my city went to 911, they kept their 7 digit police number
(231-3131) and attempted to educate the public that 911 was for
critical emergencies while the existing number was for all other police
calls (ie barking dog, car theft). Apparently it didn't work out that
way and the old number was abandoned with all calls going to 911.
Originally, the police emergency radio room was set up into geographic
zones for the city. Then it was consolidated with operators taking
calls city wide. There was a murder in process that generated a lot
of calls but the operators didn't classify and prioritize it properly
and the calls were spread over the whole room so there was no sense of
urgency. A boy was killed as a result of no police response. The
parents had an excellent lawsuit case but they said that wouldn't
bring back their son. Rather, they asked that the city revamp its
system (which would be rather costly) which was done.
There are still some problems with 911 receiving operators and the
computer systems they use. My little town is on the centralized
county system which means the operators aren't familiar with local
geography although they're working on "E" 911 which is a database with
the phone address automatically appearing. Cellular and VOIP phones
remain a problem. Suburban streets are not very well marked and it's
hard to know where one is at times.
> 411 Local Directory Assistance
Some places purposely switched away from 411 to 555-1212 to discourage
411 use. Now they charge and make a profit on it. How good is the
quality of the RBOC operator with national listings? Is their database
kept reasonably up to date? Internet databases are horrible -- my home
number is mislisted (fine by me) and they show aother number for me
that's been out of service since 2000.
> 611 Repair Service
My RBOC says they had to change this from a plain number on account of
divesture so they wouldn't have an unfair adtvg over other carriers.
> 811 Access to One Call Services to Protect Pipeline and
> Utilities from Excavation Damage (US); Available for
> Reassignment (Canada)
This was historically used as an internal access for craftspeople to
reach the C.O. test desk. In my area it is the ringback command, but
not in others.
As to calling for pipeline checking, a single number won't help if the
contractor is too lazy or stupid to make that call, and I've seen them
do that many times with phone cables cut as a result.