34 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2015 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.
The Telecom Digest Thu, 03 Dec 2015
Volume 34 Issue 218

Table of contents:

* 1 - [telecom] Manhattan to get new 332 area code in 2017 - HAncock4
* 2 - [telecom] Nearly half of US homes use cellphones only - HAncock4
* 3 - [telecom] Digital Culture, Meet Analog Fever - Monty Solomon
* 4 - [telecom] History--Bell 761 PBX for motels - HAncock4
* 5 - Re: [telecom] Manhattan to get new 332 area code in 2017 - "John Levine"


Message-ID: <7b39133b-8ac8-4f73-ad8c-9304459233b6@googlegroups.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2015 07:14:28 -0800 (PST)
From: HAncock4 
Subject: [telecom] Manhattan to get new 332 area code in 2017

NBC4-NY reported that the New York State Public Service Commission
announced Tuesday that the new area code is needed to meet New York
City's growing population and a thriving telecommunications market,
which have increased demand for residential and business phone
numbers in Manhattan.

article at:

another article at:

Many, many years ago New Yorkers could dial seven digits to reach
not only anywhere within New York City, but also neighboring
New Jersey, Westchester, and Nassau counties.

(Some calls required eight digits: some exchanges had eight digit
numbers, such as HO 5-10232, and party line subscribers had a
letter suffix which was dialed.  For dialed calls into a
manual exchange, the eight digits showed up on the operator's
display screen.)

Message-ID: <0e2238d8-0de7-4e78-aec8-3a6a1394c395@googlegroups.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2015 13:11:33 -0800 (PST)
From: HAncock4 
Subject: [telecom] Nearly half of US homes use cellphones only

CBS News reported that nearly half of the U.S. households use
only cell phones, as more people cut the cord on landlines.

The percentage varies by region and age.  In the NE US, the
cellphone-only percentage is only 32%.

for full article please see:


Also, Verizon is claiming that since so many people are no
longer using landlines, it is exempt from paying certain taxes
in New Jersey, and has ceased doing so.  Verizon decides for
itself if it is liable.  Article from the Philadelphia
Inquirer at:


Of the homes and businesses still using landlines, I
wonder what the percentage is of calls made with a rotary
dial phone.  I presume that virtually everyone these days
has at least one Touch Tone phone.  However, some people
do have a secondary extension that is still rotary, such
as an old phone in a  basement, garage, or attic, and
will use it from time to time.

Date: Sat, 28 Nov 2015 22:03:20 -0500
From: Monty Solomon 
Subject: [telecom] Digital Culture, Meet Analog Fever

The marginalization of the physical has propelled it into the realm of

by Rob Walker

In the course of a recent move, I decided to "cut the cord" - that is,
walk away from cable television and fully embrace the streamed-
entertainment revolution. I felt very digital. Just a few weeks later,
however, I discovered something that surprised me: Thousands of my
fellow cord-cutters have taken to buying antennas, to pick up the
seemingly quaint format of over-the-air television signals.

I initially resisted joining those going out of their way to spend
extra money on an object that was traditionally part of the default TV
apparatus. But of course these are not your father's antennas, as they
say: The new iteration promises far better picture quality over
greater range, without constant adjustment (or strategic tinfoil


***** Moderator's Note *****

I unplugged my cable feed about seven years ago, and up until my
recend move, I used an antenna and Netflix for entertainment. Now,
I've not only cut the cord, but the TV: I didn't bring one with me,
and I don't intend to buy one.

I notice, however, an almost Pavlovian need to see TV at night, as if
all the years of watching have imprinted me with some reptilian need
to feel connected with my neighbors by sititng in front of a boob tube
and sucking up the American gestalt in 12-minute long homilies to
rugged individualism, stoicism, and marksmanship.

I'm thinking of joining the local V.F.W. - just to have something
real to do; something that makes a difference.

Bill Horne

Message-ID: <8face8bb-6b48-4fa7-b1f2-faa60adc20e0@googlegroups.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2015 08:15:43 -0800 (PST)
From: HAncock4 
Subject: [telecom] History--Bell 761 PBX for motels

Recently, we discussed some PBX features offered by the Bell
System.  In the 1950s, the Bell System developed a variety of
new dial PBXs with features to meet more sophisticated
communications demands from customers.

One new system was the 761 PBX, which was intended to be a
low-cost system designed for the needs of motels.  I don't
know how popular it was; to me it appeared that many smaller
motels and hotels used conventional manual switchboards
(the 608 was very popular, though older places could use
a 551 or 555.)  The larger/fancier hotels had dial systems.

The 761 did require that every room have a four-button keyset,
and that the hotel guest select one of the buttons prior to
making a call (see below), depending on the type of call to
be made.  I wonder if that led to some confusion on the part
of guests.

The following is extracted from both the Bell Labs History
1925-1975 and the Bell Laboratories Record of July-August 1964:

   During the latter 1950s the United States "took to the
   road" in ever-increasing numbers, and the hotel/motel
   business expanded enormously. Conventional PBX systems,
   used in considerable numbers for guest communications in
   hotels and motels, were usually tailored to the type and
   size of the hostelry. Among the new features introduced
   was one that permitted reaching frequently called numbers
   (such as the registration desk, valet, room service, etc.)
   by dialing only a single digit. Also introduced in 1958
   was a "message-waiting" feature, which is probably
   familiar to most travelers as the lamp on the telephone
   set, which flashes if there is a message at the desk. The
   essence of both of these features was extreme simplicity
   at low cost, an objective met by innovative circuitry.

   Enormous expansion has taken place in the motel industry
   in the last few years and all signs indicate that this
   growth will continue to accelerate with the recent
   introduction of prefabricated units. One of the many
   objectives of the Bell System is to keep pace with such
   growth by providing adequate communications facilities
   designed to met the particular needs of this type of
   customer. For example, the recent introduction of Guest
   Dial service for larger hotels and motels has received
   enthusiastic acceptance and more and more of these larger
   establishments are converting to this new service.

   Guest Dial service permits a guest to dial his own local
   calls and to place calls directly to a long distance
   operator. For charging purposes, the local calls are
   automatically scored on an individual- per-room register
   located near the hotel desk. Long distance time and
   charges are reported by the toll operator to the hotel
   attendant at the conclusion of each call. This new service
   also includes a Message Waiting feature to advise the
   occupant of a room that a call was received for him during
   his absence and that the caller had left a message with
   the hotel attendant.

   Later, in 1962, a special PBX designated 761A was
   developed to provide telephone service integrated
   with new features, at a cost that would permit economically
   attractive rates to the small motels that predominated at
   the time. The control position contained message-waiting
   keys, and message registers to tally local calls.

   The 761A PBX is a small self-contained crossbar system in
   which all internal and outgoing calls are originated
   merely by pushing a button. It features message registers
   for the lines and trunks, Message Waiting, Direct Station
   Selection, and Remote Answering when the "desk" is
   unattended. It is available in 20-, 30-, and 40-line
   equipment sizes.

   Switching equipment for this new PBX consists primarily of
   wire spring relays and crossbar switches.  The basic
   cabinet is arranged for 20 station lines and growth in
   groups of 10 lines is provided by plug-in units to
   increase the station capacity to 40 lines. The local
   central office trunks and trunks to the long distance or
   toll operator may be provided in any combination of from
   one to eight plug-in units. From one to three
   intercommunicating trunks may be provided as required for
   room-to-room communication. Two "hold" circuits are
   provided to permit the attendant to handle several calls

   Switching is accomplished by the operation of the crossbar
   switches under the control of a common group of circuits
   and by the line and trunk circuits.

   In this new system, each room is provided with a
   conventional four-button key telephone set which has an
   exclusion key. Three of the buttons are arranged for
   nonlocking operation and one is blocked inoperative. Calls
   are originated at room telephones by lifting the handset
   and momentarily depressing a nonlocking button
   corresponding to the type of call being made. For
   instance, to make a central office call within the local
   calling area, the momentary operation of the LOCAL button
   will automatically connect the caller to central office
   dial tone after which he may dial the desired number.
   Calls also can be made to the hotel or motel desk or to a
   toll operator by depressing the DESK or LONG DISTANCE
   keys, respectively. On these calls, the caller will hear
   an interrupted ringing tone during the ringing period.
   Local and long distance calls are made solely by the guest
   without any assistance from the desk attendant.

   The console operates in the usual cordless fashion.
   The clerk may reset any room local message register at
   any time.  The clerk also a key for each room to light
   the Message Waiting lamp.

   A new feature known as "Remote Answer" has been included
   in this new PBX. This feature permits the attendant to
   answer any incoming calls from any room telephone when the
   desk console is unattended. A dial completion feature is
   provided whereby the attendant can extend a remotely
   answered call to any other room telephone by flashing
   the switchhook and dialing the desired room.

   A group of trunks is provided for completing long distance
   calls.  These trunks are wired directly to the [Bell] toll
   operator positions and are arranged to return an audible
   ringing tone to the caller when they are selected from
   either a station or from the console. They also are
   arranged to allow the toll operator to re-ring the PBX
   attendant immediately after the call has been completed
   to pass the time and charge information and the
   caller's identity to the motel attendant.

* * * * *

Perhaps some readers here will share their motel/hotel old PBX
experiences.  Also of interest would be a description of modern
PBX's and the new features they provide for motel/hotel service.

[public replies, please]

Message-ID: <20151202155758.22823.qmail@ary.lan>
Date: 2 Dec 2015 15:57:58 -0000
From: "John Levine" 
Subject: Re: [telecom] Manhattan to get new 332 area code in 2017

In article <7b39133b-8ac8-4f73-ad8c-9304459233b6@googlegroups.com> you write:
>NBC4-NY reported that the New York State Public Service Commission
>announced Tuesday that the new area code is needed to meet New York
>City's growing population and a thriving telecommunications market,
>which have increased demand for residential and business phone
>numbers in Manhattan.

This isn't really news.  NANPA has been predicting that 212/646 will
run out around 4Q2017 for a long time:


Since this just adds another area code to an overlaid area, the
switches will have to be updated but most people won't notice anything
other than that there's yet another uncool area code.

Here in rustic upstate NY, 315 will be overlaid by 680 starting early
next year which means 7D dialing will stop working, and out on Long
Island the permissive period for 631's overlay of 934 is already in progress,
again phasing out 7D.




End of telecom Digest Thu, 03 Dec 2015