TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Some Things Never Change: 350 Lines Tapped in NYC Over Two Years

Re: Some Things Never Change: 350 Lines Tapped in NYC Over Two Years
24 Aug 2006 21:30:18 -0700

I also suggest you look at: wrote:

> In the recent controversy over wiretaps of suspected terrorists, I
> found an article in the New York Times describing the outcry over
> wiretaps. Seems that 350 phones were tapped by police over two
> years -- back in May 1916 -- 90 years ago. The article said wiretaps
> started in 1895 -- 110 years ago.

> The article dealt with the issues of wiretaps, who paid for them, what
> they were used for, etc.

> Other articles of that time frame dealt with charges that phone rates
> were too high or too low. Politicians claimed too high, the phone
> company claimed too low to meet service demands. There were constant
> valuation studies going on with rate reductions ordered.

> In 1916, it appeared the rate was roughly 5c for each local call, plus
> line rental. That's worth at least $1.00 today, probably more. Some
> sections could get unlimited residential service.

> There was an apartment house rate: "for telephone switchboards of the
> Monitor type [Monitor was capitalized] which are used extensively in
> small apartment houses a rate of $132 for a switchboard of two
> stations and one trunk line for 2,400 local calls per year, yielding
> about 5.5c a call. There was considerable pressure to drop this
> particular rate to 5c a call to match other rates. I presume this
> arrangement was where a tennant used a phone on a pay-as-you-go basis.

> The New York Times was filled with articles on telephone rates and
> complaints about them in 1916.

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