TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: City Party Line Service

Re: City Party Line Service
20 Aug 2006 19:26:17 -0700

Mr Joseph Singer wrote:

> ONI (Operator Number Identification) was the norm for anything above a
> two-party line at least for the Bell System or at least it was ...


They could get it (ANI) from two-party lines, but nothing higher.

The earliest "ANI" was in early long distance where a "checking
multiple" was used to confirm the subscriber's number. (I think this
was with panel). The operated tested a button and heard a
confirmation tone. According to the NYT on this, only two instances
of many thousands of calls were incorrect. I suspect it was more.

In NYC, panel had meters on subscribers lines for message rate
service. These were also done under manual service, but apparently
the operator had to press a key to register the call and often forget.
Operator timing beyond the 5 minute period was also inconsistent. I'm
not sure when and how NYC implemented timing and distance on panel
meters (message units), I don't think it was present at the beginning.
Distant calls were intercepted by the operator who placed it as a toll
call with a ticket. Even then they used some push button consoles.

A later ANI was in Los Angeles with their early (1940s) automatic
ticketing system for short long-distance toll calls. It was some
hairy tech stuff involving electronics added to the SxS exchanges (see
Bell Eng & Sci history.)

When DDD came out. ONI was needed in a great many places since ANI
wasn't that easy to do. I wonder if there was any checking.

The modern No. 4 ESS included a link to a TSPS for ONI purposes if ANI
wasn't received, such as from 4 party lines. Interesting how modern
technology still had to provide backward links to old stuff for
compatibility purposes.

P.S. NYC converted from 3L to 2L PEN to PE-6 around 1931.

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