TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: "Soft Dial Tone" on Uuused lines

Re: "Soft Dial Tone" on Uuused lines

Michael Chance (
Sat, 12 Nov 2005 22:46:38 GMT

In article <>,

> Some other posters mentioned that an unused land phone line may still
> offer dial tone to provide for emergency 911 service. Is this a
> recent offering?

It's actually relatively old. "Soft Dial Tone" (also known as "Quick
Dial Tone") was trialed by most of the RBOCs back in the early 1990s
(I think that it was a Telcordia/Bell Labs brainstorm), but was mostly
abandoned due to the need for dedicated facilities (a completely
connected line for every address served) and TNs (SDT/QDT is
essentially a non-billed, restrictive voice type of service). It also
proved very cumbersome to maintain, usually requiring two service
orders (one for the customer, one for the SDT/QDT service) for every
new connect and disconnect. The historical telco provisioning models
don't have lines available for every possible address, since not all
of them will have paying customers 100% of the time, so they play the
percentages and only have lines available for the normal load of
customers. SDT/QDT requires 100% connected lines all the time, and a
TN assigned to every one of them, with a large percentage that will be
non-paying facilities that still have to be maintained as if there
were someone paying for it.

In the SBC territories that I'm familiar with, the Midwest region (nee'
Ameritech) it was completely abandoned, and is not currently offered.
In the Southwest region (nee' Southwestern Bell), it was also mostly
abandoned, except for Texas, where there is a similar product known as
Service Ready Drop is sold as part of the SmartMoves package for rental
property owners and developers. However, when a live customer
disconnects, it is not automatically re-installed, the way SDT/QDT is
intended to work - the SmartMoves customer has to call in to have it re-
established. It is also not available in SBC territory in Nevada (nee'
Nevada Bell).

The one exception is California (nee Pacific Bell/Pacific Telesys).
The California PUC has not only mandated QDT, it's actually written
into CA law. QDT must be provisioned at all residential addresses
"where technologies and facilities permit" (meaning that it's not
currently available everywhere), and it is a mostly automated process
of moving from QDT to customer voice and back again. As with most
things the PUC's definition of "where technologies and facilities
permit" (which includes TN availability as well as central office and
outside line configurations) and SBC's tend to be very different, and
occassionally causes some disputes about whether it can be offered in
a given area or not.

I'd love to hear what the other RBOCs (Verizon, BellSouth,
Qwest/USWest) experiences with SDT/QDT were/have been, as well as if
any of the independents have experimented with it or are currently
offering it.

Michael Chance

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