TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Local Exchange Not Local in Sylva, NC

Re: Local Exchange Not Local in Sylva, NC

Fred Atkinson (
Mon, 22 Aug 2005 21:01:47 -0400

Fred Atkinson wrote:

> What difference should it make if the number is "local"?

It means they should only have to dial seven digits.

> Some of my co-workers live across the street and walk to work. Some
> live in a different state and have a 90 minute commute. I think every
> workplace is like that.

True, but you have to understand the culture of the area I'm in to
fully get the picture.

> So, in order to call people at home, in some cases they will have to
> use long distance.

I'm not even sure they showed it as a valid long distance exchange, to
tell you the truth. I didn't try it.

> Anyway, today corporate long distance is so cheap why is that even a
> problem?

It is a problem when you have folks who are constantly watching the
amount of long distance calls being made. Unfortunately, we *are* in
that position.

> Years ago when toll rates were expensive, PBX extensions had a
> three-tier option: 1) interal PBX calls only (most common, esp on
> phones anyone could use), 2) outside local calls only (low level
> supervisors, secretaries), 3) all calls (big bosses).

How very true.

> Frankly, I don't see what's changed. If a manager needs to call you,
> he probably has long distance access already. It's pretty hard to
> conduct business today without long distance.

Well, a number of my colleagues and others I interact with at work might
need to reach me as well.

> The other issue raised here is keeping switching equipment up-to-date
> with new exchanges. This has been an ongoing problem for years since
> the explosion of area codes and new exchanges. I believe official
> bulletins are issued describing new exchanges and where they're
> located. (In the old days the Bell System handled this automatically
> internally). Any organization with a PBX that has internal tables
> must subscribe or contract with someone who subscribes to these
> bulletins and keep the internal tables updated. What happens if a
> valued customer gets a new phone number and you can't reach them?

I've encountered such problems. I was in a position years back where
I had units that called in to report alarms to an 800 number we had
set up for that purpose. I had to know when dialing plans changed so
I could manage the units. If an area code changed and I didn't get
the word, I couldn't call it up and monitor it.

I tried to find a mailing list that put out announcements about new
area codes and exchanges. That was when I was introduced to Telecom
Digest, by the way.

We used MCI for all of our long distance. We had an account rep at
MCI that was supposed to let me know when new area codes sprang up or
when dialing plans changed. Unfortunately, I often got the word from
other sources after the changes had been made. So, I didn't rely on
her and had to actively seek out information about area code
splits/overlays/dialing plan changes.

But back to the original discussion, I'm happy to report that the
Telecom guy called me today and told me he had it fixed. I called my
home number from the office and this time it went through.

>> I recently moved to Sylva, NC to work in nearby Cullowhee, NC (it's
>> about a fifteen minute drive (tops) between the two places).

>> Our local calling area is between three small cities, Sylva,
>> Cullowhee, and Cashiers. Anything outside that zone is long distance
>> for us.

>> I acquired Voicepulse VOIP service when I moved here. They offered
>> Sylva and Cashiers, NC telephone exchanges. I got a Sylva number on
>> the 534 exchange. It's been working fine.

>> Today, I tried to dial into my home number from work so I could
>> check my voicemail. I dialed 9 and then 53 and got no farther. It
>> retuned a busy signal. We tried it from several different phones
>> and got the same results. I called the telecom guys and told them
>> of this dilemma. Despite the fact that I had explained about it
>> being from a VOIP provider, he asked me several times if it was a
>> Verizon exchange. I told him no, it wasn't. It was a special
>> services exchange in the Sylva, NC area.

>> He told me he couldn't get it added to the switch without going
>> through a bunch of hoops (a number of people had to sign off on it).
>> I couldn't believe it. All he should have to do is call their
>> provider and confirm that it is a local exchange.

> Your place of work has a PBX. Your home exchange is not known to the
> 'dialing plan' for that switch.

Yes, I know that. I used to program Rolm PBX and Voicemail systems.

> "Company policy" has a problem, regarding handling exchanges assigned
> to CLECs.

> This is not an issue that _you_ need to fight. See to it that your
> *boss* has your home phone number, for 'emergency' use.

My boss hasn't got time to fight such things. He expects us to handle
such things on our own, which I successfully did, by the way.

> Make sure said boss knows that you _cannot_ be reached via a 'company'
> phone due to a 'programming problem' in the company's switch.

Yes, I did that. And I subsequently notified him today when the
problem was corrected.

>> Meantime, my colleagues cannot call me at home (from work) when a need
>> arises.

> Isn't that a SHAME! <*grin*>

Not if you look at the big picture, which I'm not going to go into here.

> You cannot be disturbed on your non-work time, because the company you
> work for won't let other employees call and bother you.

I beg to differ with you.

> Some people would _pay_extra_ for that kind of an arrangement! :)

> I know I would! Sign me up!

You can have it. But, I don't want to be in that position at the
moment. It could very much affect me adversely.

However, as I mentioned, it was resolved earlier today.



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