[AMRadio] : Landline vs cell

w5jo at brightok.net w5jo at brightok.net
Wed Jul 27 19:16:50 EDT 2016

-----Original Message----- 
From: w5jo at brightok.net

You must have had Atlantic Bell, which was notorious for that kind of
service Pete.  Living in the central part of the US I had a problem only one
time when we lived far from the CO.  They changed pair and everything was
like living in the real world, even Mountain Bell which was not all that
good either but had good service.

Where I live now the local phone service is by an independent provider that
is aggressive.  I live about 10 miles from the CO and they buried fiber from
the CO to a node about three tenths of a mile from me.  The final stretch is
copper and they multiplex on it bringing me local service, free US long
distance, reduced rate international calls and DSL at either 4 or 10 meg.  I
have the cheaper one because I don't run a business any more.  Altogether my
bill is less than people who have switched to Vonage or comparable.  To have
local phone services, TV, and IS, they pay about 30 bucks a month more than
I do.  The nice thing about my DSL is I can stream programs on it.

The striking thing now is the lack of knowledge about copper by the
repairmen, especially the big companies.  They don't know how to fix it and
have to dust off the old test equipment in the warehouse to do that.  Here
all tests are conducted at the CO by an automated system that can tell them
which lightning protector is bad.  At one time the school where I worked had
a contract to provide classes and basic education for techs that worked for
the phone company.  They discontinued them in about 97 or 98 and switched to
wanting wireless classes, no RF included because of built in test equipment
on their switches and cell sites.

Recently AT&T told its employees that they better upgrade their knowledge
base by taking classes in their field of expertise, that is was their
responsibility, not the company's.  AT&T was not going to teach them the
basics, only provide equipment specific training.  That did make the CWA a
bit angry, but they bought off on it recognizing if they did not participate
they would be gone.

I have good local service and, recently, they upgraded their switch.  I
believe the batteries in the node will last about 24 hours in the event of a
power failure.  If there is any blurb in the system the automatic
notification system will let them know faster than I can dial repair

All things considered I prefer having a wireline because of the security of
it over a radio that anyone can decipher.  That wireless thing is nothing
more than a back up.  Beside that my house is nearly a Faraday Shield and in
most rooms the wireless doesn't work.


-----Original Message----- 

As a kid I remember, when we lived in PA, having  a party line. To long
ago to remember how big a party line it was. When we moved to NJ, we had
a private line. As time progressed, cross-talk, especially during the
winter/snowy months, was very common. As time further progressed, lost of
dial tone, fast busy, lack of echo canceling, random rings, etc. became
more common. As time further progressed, local and long distance carriers
became separate, requiring separate bills each month, and each with their
own unique anomalies. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a
telephone repairman anywhere in my area up on a pole or at a
cross-connect box doing any repairs. On some of the local streets here
which still have poles and wiring, you can see telephone lines
disconnected/broken dangling in the breeze and some with their outer
insulation blowing in the breeze. The friend that I mentioned in the
previous thread that has POTS and had called for service was changed
around $90 for them to come out in a week to fix his problem which the
initial repair only lasted a week. I had no regrets leaving POTS in the
wind as a almost dead service even though I was employed at Bell Labs and
AT&T for many years. Even during the early years of cell service, the
writing on the wall was that the POTS life-cycle was going to reach it's
end of life for many customers in the near future.

Pete, wa2cwa

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