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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lineline to no dial tone?

Really? The bell tolls for whom? In a recent response to an FCC Inquiry, AT&T (I still cannot adapt to the "new" lower case logo) says that traditional PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) are "relics of a by-gone era". The number of households that ditched landline service between 2006 and 2009 in favor of mobile service doubled.

I worked on SLC-96 equipment built by Western Electric used in the PSTN back in the day. I am sure that there are still WP-10 and 20 cards in service that carry the "WE IT #96" stamp on the back of the faceplate. The stamp was mine and it meant that I said the cards passed final tests after I troubleshot them during assembly.

You must admit that in today's world, a technology that is backwards compatible with equipment over 100 years old is remarkable. A 99.999 uptime is nothing to sneeze at either. The Bell System was broke apart in 1984 but seems to have rebuilt itself like a T1000 terminator, only to die from neglect in the future it seems.

Excuse me, I have to make a call on a Bell 500 telephone while I still can before I hear this.



  1. I worked at the WECO plant in Montgomery, Illinois back in the early 70's on the ESS boards. There's probably some of my stamps on stuff out there, too!

  2. @drjim, Welcome! I worked at North Carolina Works back in the day. If you were not there you really cannot explain it to others can you!

    And thanks for commenting on my first Blog post!