Isn't/Wasn't there a shorage of phone lines?

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wrote:

I shouldn't have used the word "lines". I mean whatever is needed at the central stations to keep a phone call running.
Isn't that what there is a shortage of when someone gets a fast busy on a local phone call?
I'm sure some resources are used in addition to my phone and the line running to my local central station.

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What it takes at the central office to switch a local call is a central office switch. In the US, most common is the Lucent 5ESS, std version of which handles 10K lines. The switch connects local calls to local lines, and local calls going outside that CO to digital lines crossing regions. During the dial up, fax, etc line expansion days, Lucent made buckoo bucks selling these to handle the new lines. It was a big multi-million piece of hardware, that was overpriced and nothing special, but telcos bought em, right and left. It fueled Lucent's big growth and success in the 90s.

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Quoting yourself, I see. There's a treatment for that, ya know. <grin>

You are referring to a "reorder" or circuits busy condition. A busy signal is 60 TPM (tones-per-minute). A reorder is 120.
Getting a reorder is, thankfully, an increasingly rare occurrence. It can happen for numerous reasons, the least of which is a "shortage of equipment". Sometimes the call just goes astray and hits a brick wall. Other times the call is routed through equipment, perhaps in another city, that is experiencing trouble or extremely heavy usage. Simply redialing the call usually results in success.
--
:)
JR

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In my small town, yes it was a shortage.
When I was on dial-up, I used a second line. In that part of town I would get a good 33.6 on it most of the time, with frequent rocket boosts to 52000.
When I moved to another part of town that was pair-deprived, The Phone Company put my 2nd line on some mofu digital magic box that gave me 2 lines on one pair of copper. And dropped modem speed to 22000 or 14000
I outfoxed them by giving the 2nd line to the teenagers and getting a THIRD line - it was not on the magic box and I was back to 33.6/52000 speeds (someone else in the 'hood gave up a pair of copper and got put on a magic box, heh heh.)
DSL brought speeds topping out at 760 - woo woo. Good for a year until cable modems came along. After cable voip, I surrendered all phone company lines back to them.
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Lines? Yes, in some places.
Switching capacity? No. Subscribers "camped-on" for hours and days and we never broke a sweat.

Never a problem. By the time dial-up internet was at its peak, virtually all switching systems were digital. Most interoffice connectivity was (and is) via fiber optic cable.

Not a lot. The biggest factor idling ILEC (Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier) pairs was loss of customers to CATV getting into the dialtone business. It was (and is) a *HUGE* loss. :(

Yes.
No. The existing "phone-only" equipment is still used. Additional equipment is ADDED to the loop to enable DSL service.
--
:)
JR

Mean Evil Bell System
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On Thu, 15 Feb 2007 00:13:13 -0600, Jim Redelfs

Hmmm.. I wish I had known this earlier. I woulldn't have gotten off the line.
BTW, I quote myself when I don't want my comments to follow someone else, when I don't want to look like I'm arguing with someone else. I do enough of that anyhow.
Thanks to all, and especially you for clearing things up, and trader4 especially for his second post which cleared things up.
This is one of those questions I've wondered about for year.s
What follows was interesting too.

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mm wrote:

In the switched phone system, staying on the phone for long periods does indeed affect switching capacity and calls being very long doesn't solve any capacity issue. In fact, it makes it worse. There is some overhead in getting the call setup and then taken down again, but once established, there is no more overhead. The call going from your phone to someone elses now just involves constantly taking the voice sample from your line card in the central office and putting into timeslot 25 and then the line card serving the guy on the other side of town taking the voice sample from timeslot 25, turing it back into analog and sending it on the wire to the guy's house. That process, once set up, is fixed in hardware contained on each line card. Once told what time slot to look for, the line card is just counting timeslots, which are like a digital highway, as they go by. One card puts it into timeslot 25, the other takes it out of 25. There is no more CPU, software, etc involved.
So, if it's said a switch has run out of capacity, it usually means that there isn't enough slots to plug in more linecards to handle more lines. It's also possible that it could run out of timeslot capacity to connect all the physical lines, because I don't think they necessarily have capacity to handle having say all 10,000 lines in service at the exact same time. But the point is, whether they run out of capacity is a function of how many lines have calls going, and not how long the calls last.

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