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Volume 28 : Issue 9 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  Re: Restoring a 302-type telephone 
  "Broadband" (was Obama's Broadband Plan) 
  Re: Obama's Broadband Plan 
  Re: Any user reviews of the Magic Jack? 
  Re: termination fees, Any user reviews of the Magic Jack? 

====== 27 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 20:44:45 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Restoring a 302-type telephone 
Message-ID: <>

On Jan 1, 5:50 pm, Wes Leatherock <> wrote:

> Around 1950 I lived in a city (Konawa, Okla.) where telephone
> had either three or four digits. Area codes were just being
> introduced and mostly for operators. Most of the public had never
> heard of "area code" nor knew what the term meant.
> That was near the twilight days of 302 telephones.

As the 500 set was only introduced in 1950, it took quite a bit of
time for it to replace existing 302 sets in service.  (A family member
had one until they rennovated their house).  I suspect the Bell System
continued installing 302 sets well into the 1950s.  Some were placed
in a pseudo-500 body and called a 5302.

In 1970 it was not unusual to find a 302 or 354 (wall) set in a home.

In the 1950s, even into the 1960s, many smaller towns had five digit
numbers.  They got a seven digit ANC number to be addressable by DDD,
but for local use continued with five digits (into the 1980s until ESS
came along).  Those places obviously never had a named exchange.

But larger towns and cities did have named exchanges, some seven
digits, a few six digits.  Those names appeared on the number card.
In the older days the full name appeared, with the dialable letters in
capitals, often several points bigger than the rest of the name.  In
later days for places that didn't go ANC, often only the two letters
appeared with the area code.

When area codes came out a sticker was mailed to homes to be placed
over the "WAIT FOR" portion of the number card.  It obviously took a
long time between actual area code assignment and wide use of it.

Before that, many people placed calls by only name and town, not even
the number.  As part of placing the car the operator got the distant
Information to get the number.  The Bell System ran a campaign to
discourage that "Call by Number and save time!" years ago.  You can
see people do it in old movies.


Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2009 06:31:33 -0600
From: Neal McLain <>
Subject: "Broadband" (was Obama's Broadband Plan) 
Message-ID: <>

David Clayton asked:

 > Can someone remind me when the term "Broadband" - which
 > is a *specific* description of a particular usage of
 > technology - was co-opted to then cover any sort of high-
 > speed Internet service?...

"Broadband" was used by the cable TV industry as far
back as the mid-1970s, long before the internet existed.
My first job in cable TV was in Madison, Wisconsin.  The
city's circa-1974 cable TV ordinance was grandly called
"The Broadband Telecommunications Franchise Enabling
Ordinance."  The "broadband" network that resulted had a
capacity of 12 TV channels plus the FM band.  There wasn't
enough programming available to fill even that much

Neal McLain


Date: 9 Jan 2009 10:22:15 -0500
From: (Scott Dorsey)
Subject: Re: Obama's Broadband Plan 
Message-ID: <gk7q37$4fl$>

David Clayton  <> wrote:
>Can someone remind me when the term "Broadband" - which is a *specific* 
>description of a particular usage of technology - was co-opted to then 
>cover any sort of high-speed Internet service?

It is annoying, yes. 

>If we want to be technically correct, restricting people to a "Broadband" 
>service for their Internet connection will hold back the industry.
>I use NDSL myself, so I ceased using "Broadband" the moment my voice 
>service was removed from my pair of wires.

Well, strictly speaking it's still broadband.  In fact, if you were using
a modem on a dialup service, that is broadband as well because it's a 
baseband digital signal modulated onto a carrier.

THAT SAID.... I think that the current Obama plan doesn't solve the
problem.  The real solution is to make various high speed networking
services (including a few flavours of DSL) tariffed services.  But the
telcos would hate that.

"C'est un Nagra.  C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2009 07:40:27 -0800 (PST)
From: "" <>
Subject: Re: Any user reviews of the Magic Jack? 
Message-ID: <>

On Jan 8, 6:40 pm, John Levine <> wrote:

> Onesuite's main offering is a calling card that you use for outbound
> calls in connection with an existing phone, or over the net via a
> softphone that runs on your PC.  It's a perfectly decent calling card,
> but 3cpm is not particular cheap these days.  It happens to be the
> same price Lingo charges for outbound calls on its $7 plan.

What is the current compensation rate carriers have to pay the carrier
that terminates the call? It seems that this is going to be a limiting
factor on long distance, unless the long distance carrier also
terminates the call (which is why net calling is typically free).



Date: 9 Jan 2009 23:07:13 -0000
From: John Levine <>
Subject: Re: termination fees, Any user reviews of the Magic Jack? 
Message-ID: <>

>What is the current compensation rate carriers have to pay the carrier
>that terminates the call? It seems that this is going to be a limiting
>factor on long distance, unless the long distance carrier also
>terminates the call (which is why net calling is typically free).

For the major telcos, it is now very low, a small fraction of a cent
per minute.  There's still rural LECs who get multi-cent payments, but
give or take the occasional "free" international forwarding or
conference service, their share of the traffic is tiny.

It's pretty common to find flat rate long distance plans from telcos
for $20/mo, or the equivalent bundled into an overall plan.  You can
easily find prepaid calling cards charging 1cpm or less.


***** Moderator's Note *****

My son regularly uses a pay phone to call me from his school, using
prepaid phone cards. I have yet to find one that doesn't add a
surcharge - as much as 75 cents in one case - for any pay phone call,
so keep in mind that most advertised prices assume you're calling from
a non-public phone.

Bill Horne
Temporary Moderator


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