TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bell Divestiture

Re: Bell Divestiture

Tony P. (
Tue, 21 Jun 2005 17:57:08 -0400

In article <>, TELECOM Digest
Editor noted in response:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: In Chicago, PicturePhone service was
> made available to businesses for a couple years, and at the Illinois
> Bell Headquarters building downtown, they had a 'shopping mall' sort
> of arrangement for the general public to use. You could go in these
> little booths and use a picture phone with a speed dialer which had
> all the stores around town who subscribed to picture phone service
> in its repretoire. You could go into the little stall entitled
> 'flowers' and press the button on the phone for the various florists
> in town with picture phone. In a couple seconds, the screen would
> light up and the clerk in the store would be seen with all the flowers
> for sale. You could place your order via PicturePhone after you had
> seen the various arrangement they had. You would then be asked by
> the merchant to punch in your credit card number and hold the card
> clearly in front of the camera (on your end) so the clerk could see
> it as she rang up the sale. Or, go to the PicturePhone set up for the
> 'housewares department' or the 'clothing department' and do the same
> thing. But it only lasted a few months (the 'shopping mall' at the
> phone company offices) and then was closed. PAT]

The problem with PicturePhone was that Bell would have had to build an
entirely separate network to switch those video circuits.

But now when you look at a 5ESS or a DMS-100 they have the capability
to do voice, data, video, etc.

People just didn't want to see the person they were talking to back
then. Now we're overrun with web cams.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And sometimes people think it is not
very prudent to allow others to see them while they are doing
whatever. PAT]

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