TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Who Answers 911? Cell Phones and VoIP Put Responders to Test

Re: Who Answers 911? Cell Phones and VoIP Put Responders to Test

Thor Lancelot Simon (
Mon, 2 May 2005 23:04:49 UTC

In article <>,
<> wrote:

> Jack Decker wrote:

>> Cell phones have been around a LOT longer than VoIP, yet to the best
>> of my knowledge no state attorney general has ever sued a cell phone
>> company over the way they handle 911 calls.

> But individuals have sued cellular carriers over problems reaching
> emergency aid from the cell phones.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But the _original_ cell phone carriers
> were the telcos (and still mostly are).

Not exactly. AMPS licenses were granted to *two* carriers in every
market: one "wireline" (incumbent LEC) telephone company, and one
independent carrier. So it is only right to say that *half of* the
original cell phone carriers were the telcos.

Thor Lancelot Simon

"The inconsistency is startling, though admittedly, if consistency is
to be abandoned or transcended, there is no problem." - Noam Chomsky

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: You are correct. The 'A' side was
the 'competitor' and the 'B' side was the wireline incumbent. Now,
let's examine those roles as they were played out in two metropolitan
areas, Chicago and St. Louis, circa 1982-85.

In Chicago, 'A' was (still is?) "Cellular One", a brand name used by
various carriers, in this instance Southwestern Bell. 'B' was
Ameritech Mobile Services, back then a division of Illinois Bell. So,
Southwestern Bell 'competed with' Illinois Bell in Chicago.

Now go to St. Louis, and the roles were switched: 'A' was the
'competitor', Ameritech Mobile; and 'B' was the established wireline
incumbent, in this instance d/b/a/ 'Southwestern Bell Mobility'.

Move a bit west in Missouri/Kansas around KCMO; lo and behold, the
incumbent on the 'B' side was United Telephone Company, a cousin to
the Bells, and on the 'A' side was "Cellular One", but this time the
Dobson outfit d/b/a.

So, at least in Chicago/St. Louis (and wherever else) it was telco
versus telco. "Cellular One" you see, at least in those days was just
a brand name used by various companies, as often as not telcos who
were _not_ allowed to market telephony under their own name in that
area. No way, in those days at least, Southwestern Bell would have
ever been allowed to 'move into or take over' the Chicago market,
which was Illinois Bell (and soon to be) Ameritech.

And telcos do not sue other telcos which is what I said all along ...

It is okay for telcos to gang up on VOIP, and VOIP to retaliate, just
as back in the 1970s AT&T and MCI were constantly threatening to (or
actually) suing one another. An organization called USITA (United
States Independent Telephone Association) started back about 1890 as
a defense thing to protect the independent telcos who were in the
same position as VOIP is now. Bell was going to kick their asses!
USITA was formed to help them defend themselves. But how times change!
In 1982 as divestiture was getting underway, guess who the honored
guest and principal speaker was at the USITA convention that year?
None other than Charles Brown, AT&T chairman. After 80-some years,
you see, they all got to be bossum buddies. Thirty years ago, it was
the same thing with MCI/Sprint versus AT&T. Now, they tolerate each
other. Now 'Independent' is an obsolete word in telecom, so for a
few years now USITA has been simply USTA (United States Telephone
Association.) We publish their newsletter here each day.

Reminds me of my two cats: Missy and Callie (the domestic long hair
and the calico.) Missy was here first and absolutely hated Callie
for a couple months; was always slapping her around and stealing
her food, and chasing Callie out of the common litter box they both
use. That's how AT&T is: they were here first; hate and despise any
newcomers. But when cell phones first started in the 1980's, it was
still telco versus telco, not fifty percent as you claim. PAT]

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