TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: A Question About 'Dial 1' in USA Calling

Re: A Question About 'Dial 1' in USA Calling
Sun, 5 Mar 2006 20:52:26 EST

In a message dated Sat, 04 Mar 2006 16:16:20 -0600, Stephen Sprunk
<> writes:

> Local calling regions are usually much, much smaller than a LATA.
> Most of the US can only dial neighboring exchanges for free. Even
> large cities like Chicago and Detroit don't have local calling across
> town, though a few others do. That's mostly a state PUC issue.

The Oklahoma City and Tulsa local calling areas are something like 75
miles across east-west and north-south. There are no zones or other
charges associated with making calls in this local calling area.

I believe the Oklahoma City local calling area is the most extensive
in the U.S.A. The Atlanta area is not quite as large but serves more
telephones (exchange access arrangements or whatever they are called

These are all flat rate service.

Some of the places where cross-area code 7-digit was permitted, and
may still be, were local calls in the greater Kansas City area (816 in
Missouriand 913 in Kansas), Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas (that's the name
of the post office as well as the exchange), Coffeyville, Kansas, and
South Coffeyville, Oklahoma (Pat can furnish the area code for
Coffeyville, which is near Independence where he lives; South
Coffeyville is in 918).

Wes Leatherock

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Coffeyville, KS is entirely
620-CLinton-1 (620-251) and South Coffeyville, OK is included in
the s.e. Kansas regional phone directory for Southwestern
Bell. Coffeyville has the occassional 620-252 number, just as
Independence (620-EDison-1)[331] has the occassional 620-332, but
those 'occassional' numbers are always entirely either either for
local government use or perhaps cell phones. Coffeyville gets local
calling to S. Coffeyville. PAT]

Date: 6 Mar 2006 07:56:47 -0800
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: Re: A Question About 'Dial 1' in USA Calling
Message-ID: <>
X-Telecom-Digest: Volume 25, Issue 91, Message 12 of 21
Lines: 59

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note:

> ... The phone system here in the USA is a frightful
> hodge podge of schemes developed over the years with little or no
> effort to keep it simple or make it understandable to everyone. PAT]

I'm not sure I agree.

The basis for the present day system was developed about 60 years when
they developed the concept of an area code and exchange to give every
US/Canadian telephone a unique number. Area Codes specificially had
the middle digit of 0 and 1 while exchanges did not have a 0 or 1 as
the middle digit. Exchanges were unique within an area code. Many
people in the 1950s and 1960s had their telephone number changed so as
to conform to the new layout. This was a good plan.

It is true different areas had different "toll" call rules. Some large
metro areas used message units to meter suburban calls. Others used
toll tickets with very small amounts.

Historically, in my state long distance rates matched interstate rates
beyond the message unit area. In a neighborhood states, the rates were

In any event, we must remember that long distance rates were graduated
by mileage. A short distance call didn't cost very much compared to a
3,000 mile call.

The old plan had a key assumption: telephone service would be a
monopoly and under the AT&T umbrella. In the 1983 that went all out
the window and new things like LATAs and competing local telephone
companies were designed. Further, the whole network had to be
redesigned to allow easy access by the competitors.

Toll rates became flat for the nation. That benefited those who called
coast-to-coast, but hurt others who called relatively close by,
particuarly rather short distances (ie 30 miles).

My own home telephone area has about 20 exchanges assigned to it
although in reality we need only 3. That's an enormous waste of
numbers. Some towns have 40 exchanges when 5 will do, an even worse
waste. As a result we discarded the old 0/1 scheme and create area
codes in the blink of an eye.

Those who let the genie out of the bottle to create telephone
competition only looked at one side of the ledger and ignored the
other. They presumed they'd have _only_ the benefits of a free market
but none of the problems. So today we have price gouging and out and
out fraud for certain telephone services, as frequent posts to this
newsgroup indicate.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But that being the case, Lisa, why was
Canada arbitrarily included as part of the 'USA numbering scheme'
while Mexico was deliberatly excluded? The system back in the 1950's
was deliberatly designed, IMO, to include all (mostly) English
speakers and with certain other politics in mind, which was unfortunate.

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