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Volume 28 : Issue 94 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  Re: To Bury or Not to Bury 
  Any Decent Bay Area Voice Mail Providers? 
  followup on US Mail decline  
  Historical question--payphone-bank attendants  

====== 27 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ====== Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using -any name or email address- included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the email. =========================== Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters, viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome. We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime. Geoffrey Welsh =========================== See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 04 Apr 2009 07:06:43 -0600 From: Neal McLain <> To: Subject: Re: To Bury or Not to Bury Message-ID: <> On: Thu, 26 Mar 2009, Shawn <> wrote: > Even laying underground telephone cable / fiber or even CATV > coax in an existing neighborhood has it's issues. You can use > plows to put the cable underground without too much work, but > you have to directional bore at each paved driveway, sidewalk, > or road crossing. That's time consuming and expensive. Imagine > a line of 20 houses, each with a driveway and sidewalk going > from the house to the road. Not to mention working around abandoned coal bins, bike racks, bollards, bus stop shelters, catch basins, cable TV pedestals, culverts, drainage ditches, fences, fire hydrants, galvanic protection monitors, gas laterals, guy anchors, irrigation ditches, Jersey barriers, lawn-sprinkling systems, mailboxes, manholes, newspaper vending-machine platforms, power pedestals, power switching cabinets, power transformers, raised planting beds, retaining walls, secondary water laterals, signs, storm drains, streetlights, survey markers, telephone cross-connect panels, telephone pedestals, traffic signals, trees and tree roots, utility poles, water laterals, or xeriscaped yards. Neal McLain ***** Moderator's Note ***** Don't forget the Fire Alarm Premise or Auxiliary Loops, Steam Mains, and POPT (Privately Owned and Placed Telegraph) circuits. As if that weren't enough, there are also non-government rights of way, non-registered government rights of way, and Allowances for Non-anticipable Sovereign Change Demands. Bill "I Love This Job" Horne Temporary Moderator ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 12:56:50 -0400 From: Randall <> To: Subject: Databases Message-ID: <> On Apr 1, 1:09 am, MC <> wrote: >In a discussion of this issue on the roads newsgroup, several people, >apparently journalists, were all for this sort of information >sharing. They claimed it was "public" years ago and "public" today >and computerization is irrelevent. I disagree. Years ago adverse >information would lay in the bottom of a single filing cabinet, hard >to find, hard to access, and hard to transmit. Computers have changed >all that and that MUST be considered in public policy and privacy >today. >***** Moderator's Note ***** >IANALB ISTM such databases would sued out of existence in short order. >Any attorneys want to weigh in? IAAL. Been out of the biz for years but rejoining now. That said, Choicepoint exists. It claims to be something other than a Credit Reporting Agency, thus it claims exemption from the Consumer Protection provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. After a period of time, negative credit information ages off your Credit Report from any Agency that abides by federal law. Choicepoint claims not to be a Credit Reporting Agency, so negative credit information does not age off their reports. Federal law gives all persons the right to one free credit report per Reporting Agency per person per year. (Pay no attention to those annoying kids on teevee - the report available from "Free Credit Report Dot Com" isn't free. Go to and follow the link to the Free Credit Report and you will get what you seek, without having to enroll in any "triple advantage plan" -- but I digress). If you go to Choicepoint's web site, they used to offer the ability for people to PURCHASE their own report. Cost something like fifteen dollars, last I noticed, if I recall correctly. Regarding the possibility of suing these loathsome creatures out of existence - good luck with that. The Government is for the most part no longer on your side. Thanks to what Chuck Brown calls "the Corrupt Nexus" between regulators and regulated, and between lawmakers and those wealthy entities which donate to lawmakers, laws are rarely enacted and regulations are rarely written and almost never applied against the interest of donors - plus of course for most of the last forty years we've had our federal judges appointed by people who believe Government *can't* work - is it any wonder when it doesn't? ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 13:16:59 -0700 From: "W" <> To: Subject: Any Decent Bay Area Voice Mail Providers? Message-ID: <> Our company recently looked at giving up on running our own voice mail system internally, and handing over that responsibility to a phone company. We are in the South San Francisco Bay Area. To our amazement, we could not find any company that offers a rich multi-level-menu voice mail offering. Can it be true? We looked at AT&T Centrex, but it appears this system simply puts several separate phone numbers (at one or multiple locations) onto the same phone system. It has no integrated voice mail capability as an option (amazing that a company the size of AT&T would overlook that). AT&T offers a "Universal Messaging" product, but this appears to be a joke: it is really just a voice mail extension for very small companies with a few employees. There is no ability to build multi-level menus, such as extension 1 for sales, and then under sales three extensions for different products, and then under one of those products, two extensions based on customer type, etc, with many options for call routing at the final voice destinations. AT&T offers a DSL based voice mail product as well, but this also looks like it is geared to very small companies. And I don't have confidence in DSL's ability to sustain a 24x7 operation with perfect reliability, which is what we expect from our desk phones. If there were a real T-1 in place and VOIP over that, it might be a different case. If you want a rich, robust multi-level voice mail system that can integrate well with many phone extensions, and you want to buy this as a hosted service instead of running the server yourself, what are your options? We would obviously prefer to find a vendor in the Bay Area since forwarding from the voice mail system to our extensions would be a local call, but at this point we will consider anything viable. -- W ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 21:42:11 -0700 (PDT) From: To: Subject: followup on US Mail decline Message-ID: <> In our recent discussion of the decline of US Mail as a communication medium, I forget one factor: Many organizations (public and private) now discourage unsolicited mail. At one time an organization always prominently displayed its mailing address and encouraged letters from the public for use as feedback. I notice now many do not show their address prominently any more, if they even show it at all. They strongly encourage the use of email or forms on-line for feedback. I once wrote to a TV show and the postcard was refused and returned. The refusal stamp referred to the web page. So much for "keep those cards and letters coming in". I presume there are two reasons for discouraging conventional mail: 1) cost, 2) safety. A letter requires someone of reasonable skill to read it, analyze it, take action, and write a letter back. That's expensive. Web page forms have check off boxes and subject selections to speed handling. A response can be quickly banged in on a terminal, and the email forwarded electronically to the proper dept, or tallied automatically for statistics. I also suspect companies simply aren't as interested in what the general public thinks, especially unsolicited comments. They depend on specially chosen focus groups and marketing studies which admittedly are probably more accurate than a random receipt of written comments. Secondly, I recall the anthrax scare of 9/11. Organizations were very nervous of mailed dangers. Other countries suffered with mail bombs. >From the consumer point of view it certainly is easier to bang out an email from an on-line form on the Web. But is it as effective? Well, I wrote two traditional letters and we'll see what kind of response I get. ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 21:49:24 -0700 (PDT) From: To: Subject: Historical question--payphone-bank attendants Message-ID: <> In the 1940s and 1950s, places that had large banks of pay phones, such as military bases and train stations, often had Bell attendants working a switchboard on site to assist callers. (Several are pictured in the Knappen book on payphone history). One would see the attendant and give her the call request. When the call was placed, the attendant would direct you to a booth and you'd have your call. Would anyone know more details of what the attendants did? Long distance calls in the 1940s and 1950s required two separate steps: 1) connection of the call by routing over various toll trunks indirectly or directly; and 2) calculation of the initial period toll charge, collection, and monitor of the length of the call and collection of overtime minutes. (Non pay phone calls involved writing up a toll ticket with the data; pay phone calls involved asking for and collecting coins.) That is, did they collect the toll charges personally, make change, or did the caller deposit them in the phone in the usual manner? Did the attendant have direct access to toll trunks to place the call and time it, or did they act merely as a PBX to regular toll operators? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks! P.S. I recall a payphone attendant in Pennsylvania Station in the 1970s. By then I think all they did was make change and assist in out of town directories and dialing instructions. Since they had TSP by then they didn't really need an attendant, but it was helpful in a busy place like that. ------------------------------ TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Patrick Townson. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is currently being moderated by Bill Horne while Pat Townson recovers from a stroke. Contact information: Bill Horne Telecom Digest 43 Deerfield Road Sharon MA 02067-2301 781-784-7287 bill at horne dot net Subscribe: telecom Unsubscribe: telecom This Digest is the oldest continuing e-journal about telecomm- unications on the Internet, having been founded in August, 1981 and published continuously since then. Our archives are available for your review/research. We believe we are the oldest e-zine/mailing list on the internet in any category! URL information: Copyright (C) 2008 TELECOM Digest. All rights reserved. Our attorney is Bill Levant, of Blue Bell, PA. ************************ --------------------------------------------------------------- Finally, the Digest is funded by gifts from generous readers such as yourself who provide funding in amounts deemed appropriate. Your help is important and appreciated. A suggested donation of fifty dollars per year per reader is considered appropriate. See our address above. Please make at least a single donation to cover the cost of processing your name to the mailing list. All opinions expressed herein are deemed to be those of the author. Any organizations listed are for identification purposes only and messages should not be considered any official expression by the organization. End of The Telecom digest (5 messages) ******************************

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