TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: They Know Who We're Calling

Re: They Know Who We're Calling

Julian Thomas (
Tue, 16 May 2006 19:47:26 -0400

In <>, on 05/16/06 at
06:28 PM, typed:

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Way back in the 1960's when Electronic
>> Switching Systems (ESS) were first being developed, telco's major
>> complaint was that the telephone network had essentially gotten out of
>> control; among other things, anyone who knew how the 'system' worked
>> (and more people were find out every day about the old-style 'frames'
>> and other apparatus; how ancient and unreliable it was becoming; and
>> the various limitations of the 'system' where people who were less
>> than honest were concerned, or people who were malevolent in their
>> intentions, and telco finally had enough of it and said the entire
>> system had to be rebuilt from the ground up.

> My understanding of ESS history is a bit different. The Bell System,
> since it started, was constantly looking for more efficient ways to
> handle traffic. This lowered the cost of telephone service which
> generated more business allowing it to take advantage of economies of
> scale. This all created a positive cycle -- more business led to more
> efficiency and lower costs which led to more business.

I'm with Jeff/Lisa on this. For a few months in the 1950's I worked
at Bell Labs in the very early ESS development project. There didn't
seem to be any hidden agenda for capturing all sorts of call data, and
in fact in those early days, the storage technologies just weren't
there to do what is being done today. They were far more concerned
about eliminating pay phone fraud.

Julian Thomas:
In the beautiful Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State!
Warpstock X - October 12-15 2006; Windsor, Ont. I'll be there - will you?

There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved by a suitable
application of high explosives.

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