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Why do I have to dial a "1" before making long-distance call

Why do I have to dial a "1" before making long-distance call

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
Message 1 of 8
(24,471 Views)

I have the FiOS bundle (phone, internet and tv).  In order to redial calls coming from caller ID I often have to add a 1 to the number.  So when I go to dial from my caller ID I have to write down or memorize the number and then add a "1" to the front of it, which I never had to do with Comcast.

 

Two questions:

 

1. Why do I have to dial a "1" before the phone numbers?

2. Does Verizon charge for long-distance?

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎08-25-2008
Message 2 of 8
(24,436 Views)

With a name like "CapnCrunch" you should know better than anyone why a '1' prefix is required.  However, in case you merely adopted the name of one of the most notorious "Phone Phreaks" of the 60s & 70s, or if you have simply aged and do not remember anymore, the reason is relatively simple.

 

Prior to the mid-60s there was no such thing as 'dialable' long distance; one had to dial '211' to get routed to a 'Long Distance Operator' so the call could be manually connected. Circa 1967, "DDD" (Direct Distance DIaling) was gradually introduced around the country.  At that time a "1" prefix was adopted so that subscribers would know that they were indeed dialing a Long Distance number (similarly, a "0" prefix was also adopted for such calls as "Person-to-Person", "Collect", etc calls.  The telephone functions taken for granted today did not exist --outside of development labs.  In fact, very few telephone sets had 'Touch-Tone", virtually all phone had 'rotary dials', which was the reason for using a "1" prefix for DDD --it was viewed as adding the least amount of additionally dialing effort, since the digit 1 represented the shortest turn/spin of the dial. 

 

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 86
Registered: ‎10-27-2009
Message 3 of 8
(24,430 Views)

You might be missing his issue...

 

He gets a call from a long distance number. It shows up on Call Display without the 1 for example. 212-555-1212.

He can't simply tell his phone to dial that number because it's missing the 1.

He has to write the number down and dial it manually.

 

 

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
Message 4 of 8
(24,413 Views)

Yes mleduc3565 your post is exactly what I was asking for assistance on.  Why would you be required to dial a "1" through Verizon Freedom Unlimited?    Is this what everyone who has this plan has to do?

 

None the less... thank you kvelling for your explanation, however being that I have unlimited calling anywhere in the US through Verizon's Freedom unlimited calling plan it is pretty ridiculous that I can't even use my caller ID to redial numbers that have called me and as mentioned in my original post.  I never had to do this with Comcast phone service which I had 2 weeks ago.

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Copper Contributor MikeT
Copper Contributor
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎08-06-2008
Message 5 of 8
(24,395 Views)

Where I live, I have to dial the area code just to call someone across the street!

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎08-25-2008
Message 6 of 8
(24,386 Views)

The FCC categorizes Verizon as an 'ILEC' (Incumbent Local Exchange (telephone) Company; this means that they existed prior to the Bell System divestiture in 1984 and are required to observe certain operational standards to permit reasonable interconnectivity with their network(s) and any new 'CLEC' Competitive Local Exchange (telephone) Company.  Comcast is considered to be a 'CLEC' and as such only has to adhere to such standards to permit their connection to the public switched network.  Comcast is also a VOIP provider and thus creates many of its own rules as it sees fit --VOIP providers use many proprietary rules.  While this may seem advantageous to many people, it does create consumer confusion such as you have encountered with the 1+ access.

 

In reality, it is an old remnant from electromechanical switching systems (pre- electronic switches) and is not really needed in today's network.  In fact, many US localities have a 1+ 'permissive' dialing plan --meaning the call will go through with, or without, the 1+ (cellular does in fact work permissively).  The likelihood of the 1+ access changing in the near future is nil.

 

That all said, depending on the telephone set(s) you have it is possible to dial a 1+ call from a Caller ID list --some sets even have a menu option to cause all calls to have a 1+ prefixed.  Or, you could simply dial the 1+; then scroll to the desired Caller ID number and select it.  I do this all of the time.

 

 

Platinum Contributor I Platinum Contributor I
Platinum Contributor I
Posts: 5,175
Registered: ‎08-05-2008
Message 7 of 8
(24,383 Views)

kvelling,

 

Thanks for that explanation. I actually worked for Ma Bell way, way back in the mid-60s and I thought I knew a little bit about phone service, but I am way behind and your explanation really helps.

 

We are required here in our part of Texas to always dial the area code. I have to admit, I have often wondered why, when I dial a 7-digit number, sometimes it works, and sometimes the incredibly dumb system says I have to dial the 1, and other times when I dial the 1 it says I don't need to, and the call never ever goes through!

 

I never knew I could enter the 1 and then do the caller id thing, I am going to have to try that, if it works on my phone that could keep my blood pressure 10 points lower all by itself Smiley Very Happy

 

The trouble with setting the phone to automatically add the 1 to all area codes (except the local one) is that we have lots and lots of area codes locally, and some do and some don't require the 1, and most phones I think only accept one code to not add the 1.

 

Anyway, great post, thanks.

 

__________________________________
Justin
Verizon FiOS TV, Internet, and phone
QIP6416, IMG 1.7, Build 09.82
Keller, TX 76248

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎10-28-2009
Message 8 of 8
(24,328 Views)

Kvelling:

 

Thanks for the input.  A kudos and accepted solution has been posted for you.  BTW the CapnCrunch tag is something I've used for many forums.  Unbeknownst to me it was also the name of the infamous phone phreak.  I actually looked that up after I was trying to figure out what you were talking about and found it very interesting.

 

Mike T:

 

In response to your post:  Yes I also have to dial an area code for all numbers, but not use to dialing a "1".  I had Comcast which dialed any number with the area code and number without adding a "1".

 

 

Thanks again.

The Capn

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