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Subject: IP: RE: FCC lifts ban on technology-specific area codes

  • From: David Farber <>
  • Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2001 21:05:53 -0500

>From: "Bob Frankston" <>
>To: <>
>I'm trying to catch up on reading IP. I might as well start by
>commenting on this issue since it is a depressing regression into
>The ability to just dial 11 digits is very liberating compared with the
>Byzantine set of rules for dialing between pairs of numbers (7 1-7 10
>1-10 etc). I was even starting to get used to holding on to my phone
>number as long as I didn't move. In fact, as 800 number portability
>shows, there isn't really any reason to change my phone number -- just
>let me indirect it as needed. This is why I give out only my 8xx numbers
>for my cell phones -- it's none of your bother or business whether I am
>using one or who I am getting service from or where I am in the world.
>The basic problem here is that if there really is an explosion of phone
>numbers, the notion of tying numbers to the kind of instrument I happen
>to be using is, at best, foolish, and at very least, assuring pervasive
>complexity and annoyance. While this rule preserves the ability to use 7
>digits in a few cases, it actually increases the number of cases where I
>need to dial a different area code, especially with cell phones starting
>to displace land lines.
>This seems to be a case of pandering to fear of change rather than
>representing an understanding of how people actually use phones. By this
>reasoning we shouldn't have moved to all-number dialing. Instead we
>would have easy to remember exchange numbers like "Phisch-9" and instead
>of 100 possible exchange prefixes (the first two digits) we would have
>to remember thousands of possibilities and be very good at spelling and
>pronouncing English.
>The idea of stable phone numbers should be so simple. It makes it seem
>even more difficult to explain why we need a level of indirection under
>".com" names and why we cannot just put all that porn in ".xxx".
>Let us pause to remember the Strowger switch. If only we can move on.
>Bob Frankston

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