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  #1  
Old 11-13-2008, 06:34 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Why do I have to dial 1 for long distance now that it's ten digit dialing?

Everywhere I go now they have ten digit dialing. I live in area code 905, and if it's a 905 number close by I have to dial the full number, 905-123-4567.

But if it's a 905 number far away, like in Pickering, I have to put a 1 in front of it because it's long distance. Or if it's in another area code, it's long distance, so I need a 1.

I don't get it. What's the point of the 1 anymore? When we were doing 7-digit dialling for local and 10 for long distance I can understand it because the 1 tells the exchange to expect 10 numbers, not 7, and so not to try connecting until I've put in 10 more numbers. But if I'm dialling long distance, it's pointless. I'm always going to dial ten numbers in North America. If your number is 212-555-7186, there's no other 212-555-7186, and since I must dial ten digits, the phone company shouldn't be fooled into thinking I'm trying to call someone at 212-5557.

What the hell is up with this?
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2008, 07:02 PM
Philster Philster is offline
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Still says, "I'm dialing long distance" more or less.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:12 PM
Fetchund Fetchund is offline
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Not quite. Here, we can still dial 7 digits for a number.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:13 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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It's not here. 7 digit dialing here.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:30 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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And here we have 10-digit dialing but you can be charged for a toll call without dialing 1 if it's in the area but outside of something like 20 miles.

I think it's just a matter of time (50 years) before there is national 10-digit dialing and your area code no longer corresponds to a geographic area. Area code overlays were the first wave. Portable cell phone numbers are the second wave.
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:44 PM
Philster Philster is offline
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What the hell is "dialing" anyway?!

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Old 11-13-2008, 09:56 PM
snailboy snailboy is offline
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It may not be the phone companies' reason, but it's nice to be able to tell when you're making a long distance call. I figured it was toll-free to call from my work to home, but attempting to call without dialing 1 failed. That's nice to know so I don't rack up a phone bill.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:24 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Welcome to the hell that is 'mandatory toll alerting'. For the benefit of foreigners and people who live in non-toll-alerting areas of the North American Numbering Plan, let me explain...

In Ontario, we dial 1 or 0 for long-distance calls, and dial no such digit for local calls. The 1 or 0 serves as a 'toll alert' for the more-expensive long-distance calls.

Other areas in North America dial 1 or 0 before an area code, and nothing before an exchange code. In areas with ten-digit dialling, this means that they dial 1 or 0 all the time, since they're dialling area codes all the time, even on local calls.

Whether a call is local or not depends on the location of both caller and recipient, and often cannot be figured out by the customer from the numbers involved. (The phone company looks up the 'V&H' codes--the telephone equivalent of latitude and longitude--for the locations of both caller and recipient, and uses that to figure out whether the call is local and how much to charge if it isn't.)

In large area codes, it is often long-distance to call from one place to another in the same area code. It's long-distance to call from Oshawa, Ontario, to Niagara Falls, Ontario, and both are in the 905 area code.

There are oddities: for example, it's a local call from Streetsville to downtown Toronto, and a local call from Georgetown to downtown Toronto, but it's long-distance from Streetsville to Georgetown. Which are next to each other and closer to each other than to downtown Toronto.

This all goes back to Bell's calculations of local monthly phone rates based on what areas were accessible without long-distance calls. Remember, we have unlimited local calling. So when local calling was opened from a town to the Big City, it was a big deal for the townies and affected their rates. The city-dwellers probably didn't notice. Towns around the big city tend to have local calling radially inwards to the city, but often forget to make each other local.

The problem? Bell Canada, at least, does not allow you to dial 1 or 0 before a local call. If you do, you get an error message saying that it's a local call. But if you can't tell whether a call is long-distance or not, there's nothing to do but try it as a local call, and if it doesn't work, try it again as a long-distance call. It's maddening.

What Bell ought to do is allow 1 or 0 plus the ten-digit number on all calls, local or not. This would essentially signify, "I don't know whether this call is long-distance, but I'm willing to pay timed charges if it is. Let the call go though."

The system's smart enough to know whether the call is local or long-distance; it just needs a bit of tweaking. An option on the "this is not a long-distance call" error message to let the call go through would be nice as well.

This has been a major grudge for years in telecom discussion groups.

This also applies mostly to traditional land-line calling. Mobile phones are more flexible, not least because all their calls are timed by the minute.

Last edited by Sunspace; 11-13-2008 at 10:26 PM..
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2008, 11:22 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is online now
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Sunspace. Wow. Great freakin' answer. We've had 10 digit dialing in the 613 area code for ..... maybe a year now? It is very infuriating. Here's what routinely happens to me:

- Dial 7 digit number - get error message for 10 digit dialing. (OK, I'm getting better at remembering this now.)
- Dial 10 digit number - get error message because the call is long distance.
- Dial 1 + 10 digit number - get error message that call is not in fact long distance.

When I type in websites I can omit the http://. I can also omit the www. I get to my destination perfectly fine. I realize the cost implications are different, but yes, the proposal for allowing 0 and or 1 would help a lot.

Last edited by Leaffan; 11-13-2008 at 11:24 PM..
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2008, 11:28 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post

If your number is 212-555-7186, there's no other 212-555-7186, and since I must dial ten digits, the phone company shouldn't be fooled into thinking I'm trying to call someone at 212-5557.

What the hell is up with this?

If in the area code area that you are calling from if there is a 212 prefex there can be a 212-5557 phone mumber. If you do not include the exchange will begin to attempt to connect you when you hit the 7. Any additional dialing will not change the call.
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2008, 12:19 AM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Originally Posted by Snnipe 70E View Post
If in the area code area that you are calling from if there is a 212 prefex there can be a 212-5557 phone mumber. If you do not include the exchange will begin to attempt to connect you when you hit the 7. Any additional dialing will not change the call.
Only if you have seven-digit local dialling, and the 212 exchange is local to the caller. But RickJay, in area code 905, has ten-digit dialling. If there's a 905-212-5557 number local to him, there is no possible way he can dial it starting with '212'; he must dial starting with '905'.

If there's a 212 exchange code ("prefix") in the 212 area code, and seven-digit dialling is allowed, that does indeed lead to the ambiguity you describe, Snnipe 70E. (The full number would be 212-212-xxxx.) In ten-digit-dialling areas, it would work. But even in ten-digit-dialling areas, the Canadian numbering administrator discourages assigning exchange codes that are the same as locally-accessible area codes.

Last edited by Sunspace; 11-14-2008 at 12:23 AM..
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2008, 12:26 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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This is why we have fought overlays and 10digit dialing here so strongly.
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2008, 12:40 AM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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The problem in some areas there are so many prefexis that some of them match area codes in other areas. I will bet in the 415 and 408 area codes there are prefexes 905 and 212.

In fact there were plans to split San Jose into two area codes for the city because the phone co was running out of prefexes.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:42 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Part of it is preperation for future conversion when we will do to more number than 7 digits.

Here's an excellent site that gives you all you ever wanted to know about area codes

http://www.lincmad.com/
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  #15  
Old 11-14-2008, 01:03 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Snnipe 70E View Post
The problem in some areas there are so many prefexis that some of them match area codes in other areas. I will bet in the 415 and 408 area codes there are prefexes 905 and 212.

In fact there were plans to split San Jose into two area codes for the city because the phone co was running out of prefexes.
It was only running out of prefixes due to the way it was transferring numbers to other companies that wanted to do business here- they were transfering # 10,000 at a time, even if the other company only needed 100.

The San Jose area has about 1 million people. There's about 10 million combos in an area code.

The plan was fought and the PUC ruled it couldn't go forward, there was no need.

Note that there are slightly less than 10 billion total numbers in a 10 digit system. There's only 6.5 billion people on the Earth- a good number of which need food more than phones.
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  #16  
Old 11-14-2008, 01:20 AM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
This is why we have fought overlays and 10digit dialing here so strongly.
The problem with not allowing 1 or 0 on local calls doesn't really have anything to do with whether area codes are mandatory. However, if you live in a non-toll-alerting area ("1 or 0 = following area code, local call or not", not "1 or 0 = long-distance"), it's a little different. In non-toll-alerting areas, you dial the 1 (or 0, presumably) on ten-digit local calls, since they include the area code. You can't dial a 'bare' ten digits for local calls, as we in Ontario must.

Is San Jose a non-toll-alerting area?

(Aren't different dialling plans great? (Not numbering plans--all of us in the NANP have the same numbering plan. The dialling plan covers all the extra digits you dial around the actual phone number: the trunk access digit (1 or 0), and also things like carrier selection codes (101-xxxx to pick a phone company for the call). And North America has different dialling plans in different areas.)

I maintain that ten-digit dialling is actually easier overall. There's a one-time bother of set up, but after that, area codes can be added with no effects on existing numbers. With area-code splits, half the people involved have to change their numbers, and there's no guarantee that some of them won't have to change their numbers again if their's another split.

Markxxx, your future is my present.

Last edited by Sunspace; 11-14-2008 at 01:25 AM..
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2008, 01:38 AM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
It was only running out of prefixes due to the way it was transferring numbers to other companies that wanted to do business here- they were transfering # 10,000 at a time, even if the other company only needed 100.
And that was because they had to assign phone numbers by the exchange-full: the system that looked at a number to figure out which competing phone company only looked at the first six digits (area code plus exchange code).

So if the first three numbers in 408-555 belonged to Phone Company A, they had to give all ten thousand numbers in 408-555 to Phone Company A, and start Phone Company B off with 408-556, because there was no way to tell the system that 408-555-0xxx belonged to A, and 408-555-1xxx to B. The billing system could not distinguish beyond the sixth digit in 408-555.

They changed the system and extended the recognition to the seventh digit to support 'thousands-block pooling', so now they could hand out the 0xxx block an an exchange to A and the 1xxx block to B.

I suspect that Local Number Portability (LNP) was the next step in this, and they are now recognizing the whole number. Under LNP, you can take any single number from Phone Company A to Phone Company B. Thus, 408-555-0122 would belong to Phone Company A, 408-555-0123 would belong to Phone Company B, and 408-555-0124 would belong to Phone Company A.

Last edited by Sunspace; 11-14-2008 at 01:40 AM..
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2008, 09:53 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Originally Posted by Sunspace View Post
Is San Jose a non-toll-alerting area?

Markxxx, your future is my present.
SAn Jose is the 408 area code. You call inside the area code with the 7 digit number. When calling outside 408 you must put the 1 first.

At one time North Bay was 415 and South Bay was 408 from Sunnyvale to King City. Both went through multiply splits and then split again.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:46 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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Originally Posted by Snnipe 70E View Post
SAn Jose is the 408 area code. You call inside the area code with the 7 digit number. When calling outside 408 you must put the 1 first.

At one time North Bay was 415 and South Bay was 408 from Sunnyvale to King City. Both went through multiply splits and then split again.
In a 10-digit dialing area (which San Jose is not), you have to dial the area code even for a local call.

Ed
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:48 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Originally Posted by suranyi View Post
In a 10-digit dialing area (which San Jose is not), you have to dial the area code even for a local call.

Ed

L know and am glad. With the talk of splitting SJ the area code would have been required for all calls.
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  #21  
Old 11-14-2008, 11:46 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Originally Posted by Snnipe 70E View Post
When calling outside 408 you must put the 1 first.
Even for local calls?
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  #22  
Old 11-14-2008, 11:56 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
I don't get it. What's the point of the 1 anymore? When we were doing 7-digit dialling for local and 10 for long distance I can understand it because the 1 tells the exchange to expect 10 numbers, not 7, and so not to try connecting until I've put in 10 more numbers.
The "1" tells the phone computer two things:
  1. You will be supplying 10 digits afterwards, and
  2. You are making a phone call without operator assistance.
Using a "0" means:
  1. You will be supplying 10 digits afterwards, and
  2. You need operator assistance (could be an automated operator), like for collect calls.
If we eliminated the "1" and required 10 digits for ALL calls, that would work except you couldn't make collect or operator-assisted calls (by dialing the number first).

So the only way we can eliminate the "1" is to eliminate collect and op-assisted calls. Could happen. We already can't make third-party billed calls.

Also, as 10 digit dialing becomes more widespread, eventually all areas will be uniform. Then we could eliminate the "1" after a permissive transitional period.

Except 10 digits won't be enough to handle all the phone numbers needed if the current trends continue. So the entire numbering system may have to be seriously revamped (12 digits, anyone?).

Last edited by Musicat; 11-14-2008 at 11:58 PM..
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  #23  
Old 11-15-2008, 03:40 AM
groman groman is offline
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Originally Posted by Sunspace View Post
Even for local calls?
AFAIK, There is no local calls outside your area code here. There are also no true long distance inside your area code -- what you get is two slightly different local rates depending on distance but it doesn't kick in into interlata long distance until you dial outside your area code.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:44 AM
tetranz tetranz is offline
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Except 10 digits won't be enough to handle all the phone numbers needed if the current trends continue. So the entire numbering system may have to be seriously revamped (12 digits, anyone?).
It's hard to see that happening for a very long time. If it really became a "flat" system where the numbers don't mean anything then 10 digits gives us 10 billion numbers doesn't it? 0 to 9,999,999,999. That's about 30 phones for every person in the USA. These are not like IP numbers. Your toaster probably won't need a phone number. You'd have to use a leading zero if you really want the first billion.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:16 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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It's hard to see that happening for a very long time. If it really became a "flat" system where the numbers don't mean anything then 10 digits gives us 10 billion numbers doesn't it? 0 to 9,999,999,999. That's about 30 phones for every person in the USA. These are not like IP numbers. Your toaster probably won't need a phone number. You'd have to use a leading zero if you really want the first billion.
And 640K is enough RAM for anybody, and the world only needs a few computers, too! Who wudda thunk we'd have more than one computer per person (I must have a few dozen in my house, counting gadgets that include a "computer") or more than one phone per person (I have about 4 phone numbers myself right now -- office, home, fax, mobile)?

I concede that some scheme may come about that reduces the number of numbers used per person, but my statement was if current trends continue...
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Old 11-15-2008, 01:25 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Originally Posted by groman View Post
AFAIK, There is no local calls outside your area code here. There are also no true long distance inside your area code -- what you get is two slightly different local rates depending on distance but it doesn't kick in into interlata long distance until you dial outside your area code.
408 is San Jose, and 415 is San Francisco, right? Don't they meet somewhere on the peninsula? What happens there--do you have 7-digit cross-border dialling arrangements?

Last edited by Sunspace; 11-15-2008 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:27 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
The "1" tells the phone computer two things:
  1. You will be supplying 10 digits afterwards, and
  2. You are making a phone call without operator assistance.
Using a "0" means:
  1. You will be supplying 10 digits afterwards, and
  2. You need operator assistance (could be an automated operator), like for collect calls.
If we eliminated the "1" and required 10 digits for ALL calls, that would work except you couldn't make collect or operator-assisted calls (by dialing the number first).
Well, yes, I could... buy dialling 0.

You yourself say that the purpose of dialling 1 is to tell the system I DON'T need an operator. Eliminating that requirement doesn't prevent me from getting operator assistance by dialling 0.

Quote:
So the only way we can eliminate the "1" is to eliminate collect and op-assisted calls. Could happen. We already can't make third-party billed calls.
You're contradicting yourself; you said collect calls require dialling 0, not 1. Why not make all dialling 10-digit, and just reserve the 0 for operator assistance? If I start with any number other than zero, the system knows I'm going to input ten numbers, and hooks me up to that phone. If I start with zero, the system knows I need an operator.
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:17 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Even for local calls?
Local calls are ub the 408 area code
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:27 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Originally Posted by Sunspace View Post
408 is San Jose, and 415 is San Francisco, right? Don't they meet somewhere on the peninsula? What happens there--do you have 7-digit cross-border dialling arrangements?
No you use the 650 area code. If you dial a 7 digit number in SJ it will either give you a number in SJ or the call will kick the automatic sorry message.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:02 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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Originally Posted by Sunspace View Post
408 is San Jose, and 415 is San Francisco, right? Don't they meet somewhere on the peninsula? What happens there--do you have 7-digit cross-border dialling arrangements?

Actually, as has been said, the 650 area code is between them.

But your real question is what if someone on one side of the 408-650 area code boundary wants to call someone on the other side. The answer is, the 408 guy has to dial 1-650-XXX-XXXX, just like for any other long distance call. However, the number may still be in his free calling area.

I am in the 510 area code. (That's the East Bay). The telephone book lists all three-digit prefixes that are in my free local area. Some are also in the 510 area code, but others are in 650 or 408. Numbers in 510 I can reach with 7-digit dialing. Numbers in other area codes I need to dial 11 digits (including the "1"), even though they may still be free calls.

Ed

Last edited by suranyi; 11-15-2008 at 06:05 PM..
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:23 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Originally Posted by suranyi View Post
Actually, as has been said, the 650 area code is between them.

But your real question is what if someone on one side of the 408-650 area code boundary wants to call someone on the other side. The answer is, the 408 guy has to dial 1-650-XXX-XXXX, just like for any other long distance call. However, the number may still be in his free calling area.

I am in the 510 area code. (That's the East Bay). The telephone book lists all three-digit prefixes that are in my free local area. Some are also in the 510 area code, but others are in 650 or 408. Numbers in 510 I can reach with 7-digit dialing. Numbers in other area codes I need to dial 11 digits (including the "1"), even though they may still be free calls.

Ed
Okay, that makes sense. I wasn't sure whether you had the same arrangement as we used to have. Exchange codes were arranged on either side of the area-code boundary so that if exchange code 555 was local to one side of the area-code boundary, exchange code 555 on the other side was long-distance to the boundary, and couldn't be dialed with seven digits from the boundary area. That way
you could still dial seven digits across the boundary for local calls, without adding the area code.
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:23 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Well, yes, I could... buy dialling 0.

You yourself say that the purpose of dialling 1 is to tell the system I DON'T need an operator. Eliminating that requirement doesn't prevent me from getting operator assistance by dialling 0.
The way the system is currently set up (and I could be wrong, as I haven't made a collect or out of country call for many years) is you can dial "0" then wait for several seconds. If the system detects no additional numbers, you are connected directly to the operator for manual assistance.

But if you dial "0" followed closely in time by additional digits, the system accepts as much data as can be transmitted by numbers, then, if need be, either contacts an operator to break in for more data or a "pseudo-operator" which prompts you to supply more data relating to a collect call (speak your name which will be relayed to the receiving party to see if they will accept charges, for example).
Quote:
You're contradicting yourself; you said collect calls require dialling 0, not 1. Why not make all dialling 10-digit, and just reserve the 0 for operator assistance? If I start with any number other than zero, the system knows I'm going to input ten numbers, and hooks me up to that phone. If I start with zero, the system knows I need an operator.
If both zero and one are reserved numbers, this eliminates ALL possible digit combinations that begin with zero or one. The only possible numbers would have to begin with 2..9. To elaborate:

Let's propose (as I think you are doing) that all phone numbers have 10 digits, and to make a phone call, you dial *exactly* 10 digits, no more, no less.

EXCEPT...if you wish to make a special or collect call, you dial zero followed by 10 digits. This means that no 10 digit number could begin with zero, because if it did, the system wouldn't know if your initial zero was a signal for a special call or part of a 10 digit number.

So 1/10 of the possible 10 digit numbers (100,000,000 out of one billion) would not be available for assignment. If both zero and one are reserved for a special purpose, 2/10 of the possible one billion numbers would not be available.

In contrast, let's look at a theoretical system where collect or operator assisted calls did not exist, and all phone number assignments are for 10 digits. Then it would be possible for all one billion possible numbers to be used, as a first digit of zero or one would be equal to a first digit of 2..9, i.e., no special significance. In this system, all phone calls are made with exactly 10 digits; no more, no less; and the prefixed "1" as we know it today would no longer be required.
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  #33  
Old 11-15-2008, 10:02 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
So 1/10 of the possible 10 digit numbers (100,000,000 out of one billion) would not be available for assignment. If both zero and one are reserved for a special purpose, 2/10 of the possible one billion numbers would not be available.
Yes. But under the current system they aren't available anyway. No area codes start with 0 or 1.

So you could just go to ten digit dialling today, reserve 0 for operator assistance, and 1 for international calling, and you'd have a simpler system and be no further behind in available phone numbers.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:12 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Yes. But under the current system they aren't available anyway. No area codes start with 0 or 1.
Exactly my point; you might want to read my post again more carefully.

No area codes used to have other than 1 or 0 for the middle digit, either. Then the rules changed to allow for more numbers, which required the "1" prefix. The rules could be changed again, and for the same reason.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:40 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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If you take 0 and 1 away from the first digit of area codes and prefexs then there are 6.4 B numbers.
Now remove 911, 611,&311 from prefexes and area codes and 555 as a prefex. Now we are down to 5,544,000,000 numbers.
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  #36  
Old 11-15-2008, 10:42 PM
lobotomyboy63 lobotomyboy63 is offline
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[hijack] In my home town, we used to have four digit phone numbers. My brother called home when he was in the Navy and the operator couldn't believe our number was (Area Code) + 4 digits. Later, when we graduated to 7 digits, we could skip the middle number of the prefix and dial just six...134567. If the last digit of the prefix was the same as the following digit, we could just dial the last four...instead of 1233456, we'd dial 3456.

There's a small tiny town near where I grew up, and we had a wedding reception there once. There was an old clock, a promotional item from the local Chevy dealer, in the basement. "Dial 7."

About 20 years ago, to call another town that was in the area code but which was long distance, it was 1-number (no area code).[/hijack]

Certain area codes around here are local. For awhile, others seemed to be variable. They could be long-distance or not; it seemed to depend on the rest of the number...I thought maybe they determined it with the prefix.

ETA @ Snnipe: 211 is the number for emergency social services around here, e.g. to help you find a place to stay if your house just burned down or connect you to other entities like help paying your electric bill...true across the US? I don't know.

Last edited by lobotomyboy63; 11-15-2008 at 10:44 PM..
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  #37  
Old 11-15-2008, 11:37 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Going back to old times.

When I was a kid our number was 23F11. It stood for the 23rd farmers line 11th phone.

I remember when we got pack bell. It was a five digit number. three years latter they add the other digits.
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  #38  
Old 11-15-2008, 11:41 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Originally Posted by Snnipe 70E View Post
If you take 0 and 1 away from the first digit of area codes and prefexs then there are 6.4 B numbers.
Now remove 911, 611,&311 from prefexes and area codes and 555 as a prefex. Now we are down to 5,544,000,000 numbers.
If you're dialling ten digits all the time, you can have exchange codes ("prefixes") starting with 0 or 1 as well.
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  #39  
Old 11-16-2008, 12:36 AM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Originally Posted by Sunspace View Post
If you're dialling ten digits all the time, you can have exchange codes ("prefixes") starting with 0 or 1 as well.

then how will you get an operator when necessary. Also phone companies do not use the 0 or 1 in prefexes.
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  #40  
Old 07-17-2010, 10:04 AM
cal303 cal303 is offline
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1+ Should mean LONG DISTANCE ONLY.

My question is why would you NOT want to know the number you are calling is long distance versus local???? If a call is long distance I'd rather know so if I don't want to pay for the call I don't have to...or I can make an intelligent decision not to talk for an hour. I know a lot of people have unlimited long distance now, but I find it odd you would be bothered by the phone company to letting you know the number you are calling is not local. Not everything in 905/289 is a local call. AND I think its crap that big states like New York, California and Illinois actually allow the phone companies to get away with this. Can you imagine they actually expect you to look on their website to find out if a number is local or not when they could easily program it in their switch?
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  #41  
Old 07-17-2010, 07:38 PM
abel29a abel29a is offline
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Slight hijack, out of curiosity. Long distance calls in the US, what is the common distance before it changes from local to long distance? is it a inter-state thing or something else? Would it be more expensive to, say call, from one state to another than between two cities in the same state, even if the distance for the inter-state call is shorter?

We had local/distance calls in Norway up to about.. oh 15 years ago, but when we changed to our eight digit system and area codes became part of the full number you'd have to dial anyway, the pricing system was changed so that all calls no matter where in Norway cost the same. This also enabled us to actually keep our land line numbers when moving, if one so wanted, as the "area" code part of the number no longer represented a call to a special area.
(This of course being more or less a moot point now, as "nobody" has land lines anymores, seeing as cell phones is almost as cheap.)

Altough I can get the huge expanse of the US makes for some fairly long distances, wouldn't it make more sense to ditch the local/long distance thingy and just charge the same no matter who you're calling? I believe most of norther Europe at least has adopted this model.
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  #42  
Old 07-17-2010, 07:51 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Originally Posted by cal303 View Post
My question is why would you NOT want to know the number you are calling is long distance versus local???? If a call is long distance I'd rather know so if I don't want to pay for the call I don't have to...or I can make an intelligent decision not to talk for an hour. I know a lot of people have unlimited long distance now, but I find it odd you would be bothered by the phone company to letting you know the number you are calling is not local. Not everything in 905/289 is a local call. AND I think its crap that big states like New York, California and Illinois actually allow the phone companies to get away with this. Can you imagine they actually expect you to look on their website to find out if a number is local or not when they could easily program it in their switch?
But in a ten-digit toll-alerting area where all calls can be dialled with 1+, you can still find that out. Just dial without the 1. If it doesn't work, the call is not local.

The inconvenience arises when local calls must be dialled without 1, and long-distance calls must be dialled with 1, and there's no way to tell which is which before you dial. There's no way of telling, because it's dependent on where you're calling from, where you're calling to, what phone company you're using, and what plan you're on.

In the old landline monopoly days, Bell used to publish this information in the directory: a listing for each locality of what neighbouring central offices could be dialled as a local call. ("If you're in 668 Whitby, you can dial 430, 431, 432, 433, 434 Oshawa, and 686 Brooklin as a local call...") They don't publish this information any more.

And it's probably different if you're on Rogers, Telus, or Primus landline. Then there are cellphones, where people typically get plans that include so many minutes of calling to any number in the provice/the country/a group of countries.

Last edited by Sunspace; 07-17-2010 at 07:51 PM..
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  #43  
Old 07-17-2010, 08:14 PM
sharding sharding is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abel29a View Post
Slight hijack, out of curiosity. Long distance calls in the US, what is the common distance before it changes from local to long distance? is it a inter-state thing or something else? Would it be more expensive to, say call, from one state to another than between two cities in the same state, even if the distance for the inter-state call is shorter?
This is a really old thread, but...

I don't know if there is one "common" distance. It's definitely smaller than a single state, and it's not purely based on distance. There's a city about ten miles from my house that is a long distance call on my landline phone, while another (bigger) city 20 miles away is a local call. We were told that we were allowed to have one of the two in our local calling area, but not both. I'm frequently annoyed when I try to call a business just down the road and it's long distance (and we don't have long distance service on our landline, so it means I need to either go find a calling card or a cell phone).

Last edited by sharding; 07-17-2010 at 08:14 PM..
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  #44  
Old 07-17-2010, 08:17 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abel29a View Post
Slight hijack, out of curiosity. Long distance calls in the US, what is the common distance before it changes from local to long distance? is it a inter-state thing or something else? Would it be more expensive to, say call, from one state to another than between two cities in the same state, even if the distance for the inter-state call is shorter?
I'll answer, since Canadian telephony is very similar to that of the States.

Local calls on the traditional landline provider were a flat fee for individual calls (unlimited time on each call), or were included in your monthy rate at no extra charge. Typically these would be to phones within 20 or 30 or 50 km of your central office. Usually the nearest significant town was included in the local calling area. Anything else was long-distance, and you paid by the minute. Hence the importance of toll-alerting, to distinguish between the two types of calls.

In the States, after the breakup of the original AT&T, intrastate calls were regulated differently and priced differently than interstate calls. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but the US was divided into LATAs, Local Access and Transport Areas. Local phone companies were prohibited from carrying calls between LATAs; long-distance phone companies were prohibited from carrying calls within LATAs. LATAs were sometimes the size of states, but not always.

The local phone companies also operated the central offices and connected the phone line to the subscriber. So each subscriber had a default local company and a default long-distance company serving their line.

Some LATAs were large enough that they had internal long-distance calls as well, provided by the "local" phone companies. So then you had calls charged at possibly three different rates: local, "local long-distance", and "real" (i.e. inter-LATA) long-distance. Rates were also different depending on whether you were calling in-state or between states. And this all varied according to location and what phone companies you used.

It was never quite this complicated in Canada, mostly becuae we didn't have LATAs in the same way that the States did.

For a true comparison, consider telephony in Europe as a whole, with all the different national phone companies and country codes. That's the equivalent situation. Telephony in Norway is comparable to telephony in, say, Ontario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abel29a View Post
Altough I can get the huge expanse of the US makes for some fairly long distances, wouldn't it make more sense to ditch the local/long distance thingy and just charge the same no matter who you're calling? I believe most of norther Europe at least has adopted this model.
This is happening more and more, on a voluntary basis. It started with cellphones and their plans, but more and more landline companies are providing such plans as well. And then you get the VOIP providers. Skype, for example, charges me 3.95 a month to call anywhere in Canada.
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  #45  
Old 07-17-2010, 08:52 PM
racer72 racer72 is offline
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Long distance? For my $55 a month, the entire US is a local call, still have to dial 10 digits though.
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  #46  
Old 07-17-2010, 09:05 PM
antonio107 antonio107 is online now
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I'm in the same boat as the OP. Not a Torontonian, but an Ottawan. Recently they merged together Ottawa's 613 and Gatineau's 819. Gatineau valley is a long distance 819 and Kingston is a long distance 613, though.

the solution for me has been to include all numbers in my Blackberry's directory as +1613 or +1819, so that regardless of where I am or where the call is being placed to, the cell phone figures it out itself. This of course, will be the way of the future, as all signs seem to be pointing to the home landline going the way of the kerosene lamp or the Hansom Cab.
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  #47  
Old 07-18-2010, 01:07 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Is there anyplace in the country that still has five digit dialing for calls within the same exchange?
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  #48  
Old 07-18-2010, 04:26 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Is there anyplace in the country that still has five digit dialing for calls within the same exchange?
I would guess that that was eliminated around the same time that dialing 1+seven-digit for long-distance within the same area code was eliminated, which was around 1990 in Ontario.

Mind you, that doesn't stop people in small towns from referring to their numbers that way. People in Bancroft still sometimes quote only the last four digits of their number in conversation, even though everyone has to dial all ten digits (without the 1 in front, because it's a local call.)

Last edited by Sunspace; 07-18-2010 at 04:28 PM..
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  #49  
Old 07-18-2010, 09:41 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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Cecil addressed a related question in 1995: Why do you get the message that you must first dial "1" before the area code?
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  #50  
Old 07-22-2010, 04:49 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
I hate to say it, but that article needs a little updating. It's from 1995, just before the first NANP area codes with middle digits other than 1 or 0* started to appear, and long before ten-digit dialling became common.

*That's how we used to distinguish area codes: they had middle digits of 1 or 0, and exchange codes didn't. But that hasn't been true for a long time.
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