GENBRIT-L ArchivesArchiver > GENBRIT > 2005-07 > 1121033138
From: ( (doff my cap to reply))
Subject: Re: off topic shocked and horrified
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 22:05:38 GMT
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <3j9qgpFp07obU1@individual.net> <42CFF994.AE30B8A5@which.net> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <42D01EEB.E369D56A@which.net> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <3jcd4pFp9pdlU1@individual.net> <Xns968F93EC118D6petergoodeyngyahooco@18.104.22.168> <3jd8k4FpgrcfU1@individual.net>
On Sun, 10 Jul 2005, Graham P Davis <> wrote:
>Peter Goodey wrote:
>> Graham P Davis <> wrote in news:3jcd4pFp9pdlU1
>>>Pity that letters were dropped from various
>>>forms of identification - phone numbers for instance - on the grounds
>>>that computers couldn't understand letters.
>> My recollection of the reason given for changing to all-figure telephone
>> numbers was the perfectly reasonable and, I believe accurate, one that
>> international dialling was coming in and the letters on telephone dials in
>> different countries did not all correspond to the same figures.
>That rings a bell. I think that when I accessed my memory I got a
Finishing the roll-out of STD (direct dialling) was the driver...
this meant that the previous mapping of letters to numbers started to break
down, especially when you added international direct-dialling from the UK.
The letters were dropped and it became "all-figure number" dialling, rather
than "confuse" their customers (they had been renamed thus from
"subscribers" at about the same time) .
The priorities in other countries were rather different, and so places
like the USA kept their numbers on their handsets (in fact, most US telcos
lagged behind us here by many years). After a lot of heart searching (and I
suspect the retirement of the original decision makers!) its only been the
last few years that letters have been re-introduced. If you drop the
leading 01 from many area codes, you can quite still often spell out the
exchange area if you look up the letters from the next 3 numbers.
There's a good little chronology of events at
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