34 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2016 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.
The Telecom Digest for Wed, 13 Jan 2016
Volume 35 : Issue 6 : "text" format
Table of contents:
* 1 - Re: [telecom] Wi-Fi calling to begin landing on some Verizon smartphones
this week - email@example.com (Gordon Burditt)
* 2 - Re: [telecom] Collect call from Rockford to Sycamore, Illinois in 1957 -
* 3 - [telecom] Toronto's mayor demands an end to competition for fast,
affordable broadband - Neal McLain
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2016 20:58:40 -0600
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Gordon Burditt)
Subject: Re: [telecom] Wi-Fi calling to begin landing on some Verizon
smartphones this week
> - If you have the _option_ of using WiFi _or_ cellular as _your_
> choice, it's great. But... I've seen phones and carriers where the
> default is to try a WiFi conection and it takes a specific effort to
> turn WiFi off.
Samsung Galaxy S6 phones (at least mine on T-Mobile) have the option
to turn Wi-Fi Calling on or off (independently of turning Wi-Fi on
or off). Obviously Wi-Fi Calling doesn't work if Wi-Fi is turned
off or there's no Wi-Fi in range. The Wi-Fi Calling icon shows up
in the status bar if Wi-Fi Calling is available (turned on, Wi-Fi
turned on, in range and connected, Wi-Fi has internet access, carrier
The default setting for Wi-Fi Calling is ON and Prefer Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi
Calling is one of the Quick Settings on the Notification Panel
(although you might have to scroll to the left to see it) so turning
it on and off is pretty fast (along with things like Wi-Fi, Sounds,
and Do Not Disturb). If you don't like it, turn it off once and
leave it off. You can still use Wi-Fi.
It also has a 3-way choice for calls: Prefer Wi-Fi (fall back to
Cellular), Prefer Cellular Network (fall back to Wi-Fi), and Never
Use Cellular Network (even if it's available - perhaps good if
you're travelling outside your home country where roaming is very
expensive. You'll also need to do something about data roaming).
If you want Never Use Wi-Fi for Calls, turn Wi-Fi Calling off. The
notification panel contains a notification that Wi-Fi Calling will
be used when it's ready, and if you tap it, it's a shortcut to the
Wi-Fi Calling does some incidental checks so it won't engage if
it's a no-go from the start: if you're connected with the right
Wi-Fi password (if needed), but it can't get DNS from the Internet
and/or reach it to register with T-Mobile (or whoever your carrier
is), it won't try to use Wi-Fi Calling. I had to do a little
fiddling with my paranoid firewall on my home network to make Wi-Fi
Calling work. I've encountered a couple of public Wi-Fi sites where
Wi-Fi calling didn't even start up (firewall for web surfing only?).
As near as I can tell, there's no option to independently select
Wi-Fi *incoming* calls differently from Wi-Fi *outgoing* calls.
T-Mobile says that if you have Voice Over LTE, calls can migrate
between Wi-Fi and the cellular network. I'm not sure whether this
works on the Galaxy S6 and my service area. The Galaxy S6 has an
option at Phone > Keyboard > More > Settings > Voice over LTE
Settings. You can use VoLTE if available or turn it off. I have
left it on, seeing no particular reason to turn it off now. You
might want to turn it off to avoid calls migrating from Wi-Fi to
expensive cellular in a foreign country.
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2016 11:16:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: [telecom] Collect call from Rockford to Sycamore, Illinois in
On Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 10:01:25 AM UTC-5, mark thomas wrote:
> The question, in a nutshell: Approximately how many minutes did it
> take to make a collect call from Rockford, Illinois; to Sycamore, in
> 1957? The full inquiry follows:
> In 1957, what would have been the steps needed to place a
> collect call from Rockford to Sycamore? Obviously it's an
> operator assisted call, but would the caller first have to go
> through a Bell System operator in Rockford, who would then
> contact the DeKalb-Ogle operator in Sycamore? Or was the caller
> able to contact the DeKalb-Ogle operator directly? Because there
> were different phone systems in each area then.
> We are trying to ascertain how many steps you would have to go
> through and approximately how long it would take before you were
> actually speaking to the person you were calling.
The question isn't easy to answer because in 1957 the Bell System and
non-Bell Independent companies were making extensive improvements to
the physical plant. The level of automation involved in placing
the call would vary depending on what equipment had been installed
at that particular point in time.
Let's assume the caller knows the desired party's phone number*.
Anyway, the first step would be for the caller to dial their local
operator and that would in Rockford; a caller would not be able
to connect to a distant operator. The Rockford operator would take
down the details of the call and prepare a toll ticket. I'd guess
this took about 30 seconds.
Upon receiving the call, the Rockford operator would've had several
options depending on the level of dial automation. It's very possible
that she would've simply plugged into DeKalb/Sycamore (it wasn't that
far from Rockford) and dialed the desired number herself. The call
would then take only a few seconds to complete.
However, if the switching was all manual, it's also possible that the
Rockford operator may have had to contact the DeKalb inward operator
and ask for Sycamore, then be connected to the local Sycamore town
operator who would make the final connection. This would add
about a minute or two to the connection time. Of course, if the
Sycamore operator was busy or there were no trunks available,
the call would take longer, and this did happen in that era.
Assuming the called line wasn't busy and someone answered, the
operator would inquire if they would accept a collect call. If
affirmative, the call was connected.
In some cases back then, if there was no answer or the line was
busy, an operator would offer to try the call again. She would
put the toll ticket aside and attempt the connection later. As
toll traffic grew, this practice was discontinued.
The fact that the telephone companies were different generally
did not affect connection time as the Bell System and Independents
were inter-connected. However, a few small Independent companies,
such as serving an isolated small town, may have had limited
capacity and poor service. Back then, a tiny village could've
had only a part-time operator working in her home, who interrupted
her house chores as the calls came in. (The book, "From Muttering
Machines to Laser Beams" covers that arrangement.)
* Back then, sometimes long distance calls were placed by name, as in
"Operator, please get me John Smith in Peoria". The toll operator
would first contact Information in Peoria to get the number, and
then would place the call. After the war, the Bell System discouraged
this as it took up time; it encouraged callers to keep a personal
phone book, and for decades even provided blank books for that purpose.
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2016 11:52:21 -0800 (PST)
From: Neal McLain
Subject: [telecom] Toronto's mayor demands an end to competition for fast,
By Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, Jan 12, 2016
In Canada, as in the UK and many other countries (including the USA, until the
mid-2000s), the big telcos are required to wholesale their lines to small,
upstart competitors as payback for access to rights-of-way and municipal
infrastructure. This results in more competition, faster connections, and
cheaper service for residents.
Bell Canada, the company that owes its fortune to nearly a century of public
investment, is fighting that rule, saying that it and it alone should have the
right to sell access to its new fiber networks. The CRTC, Canada's telcoms
regulator, told them to pound sand, but they've appealed to the new Liberal
End of telecom Digest Wed, 13 Jan 2016