TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: NN0 Central Office Codes

Re: NN0 Central Office Codes

Fred Goldstein (
Tue, 08 Nov 2005 23:32:07 -0500

On Tue, 8 Nov 2005 22:47:41 UTC,
(Garrett Wollman) wrote:

> Not uncommon. At Boston's WBZ, the main call-in number was originally
> ALgonquin 4-5678 (617-254-5678), which still works but has been
> superseded by 254-1030 to reinforce the branding. But the contest
> line is in what was the Boston "choke" exchange, 617-931-1030. The
> main switchboard number is 617-787-7000, which would have been STadium
> 7-7000 in 2L+5D days, but I don't know if that number was in use back
> then. Those three exchanges historically belonged to three separate
> COs: 617-254 is Allston, 617-787 is Brighton (both now in the same
> ratecenter IIRC), and 617-931 is a downtown Boston exchange which I
> think was historically located at the NET&T headquarters. WBZ-TV
> (channel 4) used to have 617-782-4444, but I doubt that is as old as
> the number would imply. (WBZ-TV has been at the same location since
> 1948, when that number would have been STAdium 4444.)

If there was ever an Allston CO, it was gone many years ago. Allston
is a part of Brighton. Allston's separate identity dates back to the
railroad, which needed a name for a second station in Brighton.
George Washington Allston was a popular local painter, so they named
it after him, and it stuck; the neighborhood (once a Town before
crooked politicians essentially sold it to Boston sometime around
1870) is sometimes called Allston-Brighton, though the two halves are
reasonably distinct. The Brighton CO is right in Brighton Center,
within a short enough reach of Allston to cover it efficiently.

Note, though, that a significant part of Allston-Brighton is served by
the Brookline CO and is in that rate center. When I moved from one
side of Comm. Ave. to the other some years ago, my phone number (and
rate center) changed from ASPinwall-7 to STAdium-3. (Brookline's 3Ls
included REGent and LONgwood.) Boundaries are weird there. The phone
company follows the middle of Comm. Ave. (a natural boundary for wire,
with a trolley line running there). The post office puts all
Comm. Ave. addresses, both sides, in Allston or Brighton, but side
streets in Brookline. (This impacts insurance rates. I once knew
someone whose basement apartment, on a side street, netted a much
lower car insurance rate than the upstairs units, because of the
different ZIP code.) The real city limits meander a couple of blocks

Harvard has bought up a LOT of land in North Allston, right across
from their Cambridge campus, and is planning to develop that too. I
think a couple of blocks in Allston near Harvard are already in the
Cambridge rate center, and Harvard is likely to equip most of its new
buildings with Cambridge numbers too. WGBH ("God Bless Harvard",
though they'll probably claim it stands for "Great Blue Hill") has a
Cambridge phone number, for instance, though it too is in Allston (or
as it's known to Zoomers, "Boston 02134"), just across the river.

The 617-931 choke exchange is listed in the LERG to the Cambridge 02T
tandem, a DMS-200. It's one of two tandems in VZ's 210 Bent St. CO
(the other is a 5E; a 4E next door, at 250, has been
decommissioned). If MIT still gets its dial tone from VZ, it comes
out of Bent St. That 3-block-long street is full of telecom
carriers, Level 3 (and others having buildings there. AT&T still
uses 250, which is a divestiture condo (shared between AT&T and
VZ). I think the carrier hotel (was Network Plus, now defunct) at
#185 has closed. XO is at 89 Fulkerson, a block or two off Bent. It
seems like there's more glass than dirt in the ground around there....

Fred Goldstein k1io fgoldstein "at"
ionary Consulting

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