TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Foreign Exchange (FX) Lines Still in Use?

Re: Foreign Exchange (FX) Lines Still in Use?

Robert Bonomi (
Fri, 20 May 2005 02:04:33 -0000

In article <>,
<> wrote:

> Isaiah Beard wrote:

[[.. munch ..]]

> Probably the biggest network is the Federal Govt's "FTS" network and
> the military's Autovon network. I don't know how they work today. I
> always thought "Autovon" used special TouchTone phones, but at my
> father's installation, the Autovon lines came in the PBX just like any
> other trunk and the phones in his place were plain rotary. They used
> Autovon for plain business, not "combat" situations as the literature
> suggests. FWIW, they converted to Centrex from PBX, then closed the
> whole place down about six months later. It appeared the govt owned,
> not leased, the PBX switchboard and switchgear--with govt employees
> doing the maintenance on it, not Bell people, even though it was
> connected to the Bell System.

Autovon used "standard" Touch-tone phones. Ones with *all* the buttons.
including the 4th column of 4.

Autovon actually made use of those 4th-column buttons, for things like
indicating the 'priority' of the call. If all circuits were busy and
you had "priority' traffic, you could push the magic button for that,
as part of dialing the number, and some (random) "non-priority" call
would get abruptly terminated, to free up the required circuit, so
that your call could go through.

There were other 'specialty' capabilities as well, specific to a
"command and control" operation.

The 'enhanced' features (including 'priority') were not necessarily
available on -every- Autovon phone -- it took a certain 'class of
service' as it were, before one could use them. And, of course, there
were very specific 'policy' rules about _when_ one could use them.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: As Robert knows, those four additional
touch tone keys were known as A,B,C, and D. I forget the exact
meaning of each, but my question is, did anyone with 'regular'
service but with an Autovon phone ever try pressing those keys in
a regular call? I did a couple times, and the immediate result was
a 'fast busy' signal; the call would not complete. PAT]

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