> But in both AT&T and Verizon's cases they also have significant cellular
> holdings. I guess they can't comingle the funds between the operating
On a low level, traditional regulated lines of business must be kept
separate from unregulated lines of business. Basic plain old telephone
service is still regulated; though many optional features are no
longer. Wireless is not regulated.
I can't help but suspect that wireless service is quite profitable for
> The only issue is that caller-ID is mostly useless these days because
> there are so many ways to obfuscate ones number. What I find more
> amusing is that Bell knew how to do CLID back in 1972. Just took some
> time to roll it out.
Other than the call block (*67) feature, what other ways are there to
do blur it?
I'm not sure what you mean by "1972". Automatic Number Identification
was developed far earlier than that (IIRC 1940s). It was gradually
implemented system wide over the years, though in 1973 I made calls
that still had ONI. The No. 4 ESS for toll had provisions for TSPS
entry of ONI when necessary.
In any event, having ANI for internal purposes is completely different
than delivering to the subscriber. ANI in electro-mechanical
exchanges required considerable expensive add-on electronic gear,
which is why ONI survived so long despite the labor costs and fraud
Having a deliverable CID required not only ESS (impractical
otherwise), but also data trunks between COs so the number would be
transmitted from distant offices. The data trunking was a completely
new arrangement between offices and took time to implement (as did
Lastly, CID required an affordable readout device at the subscriber.
We take cheap electronics for granted these days, but in your year,
1972, such a readout box would've cost easily $150 (mass produced) in
1972 dollars. Don't forget the microprocessor wasn't widely available
cheaply (wasn't it invented in 1974?)
As a reminder, the cost of providing telephone service--of any
type -- is a big beneficiary of the enormous bang-for-buck change in
electronics. The telephone network uses massive amounts of
electronics; and in 1972 that stuff was still quite, quite expensive.
To put it another way, how much do you think you'd have to pay for a
1972 computer that could do everything your little Pentium does for
you now? You'd need a decent sized mini, strong enough to drive fancy
screen graphics. We're talking $10-20,000 or more in 1972 dollars,
more than a modest house cost in those days.