All information on this site posted before this date should be considered outdated due to the Alberta 780/403/587 area code overlay. New information will be added once the area code changes are complete and things have settled down.
I recently took a trip to Kamloops, British Columbia (250 NPA). I had the opportunity to play with both a number of payphones and a hotel PBX. The Protel payphones in BC are styled a bit different than the Protel phones in Alberta. Why, I’m not sure. Here’s a picture of what the BC Protels mostly look like: http://www.yapl.org/getimage.php?type=phone&id=884
So playing with the payphones, I found a few interesting intercepts that I hadn’t found up to that point. First things I did, I made a few calls through to “310″ exchanges in different NPA’s across the country. 604-310 yielded a “two five zero one zero” intercept, fairly common for BC area. Even in Edmonton (my home town), you can get that intercept occasionally. 250-310-0000 yielded a Cannot Be Completed As Dialed intercept, no suprise, seeing how there is no 310-0000 in 250 NPA . Dialing 709-310 (Newfoundland) or 416-310 yielded an interesting intercept: “The number you have dialed is not a local call… SCU 5″. I haven’t got an “SCU 5″ trailer code in Edmonton before, so that was interesting. I’m not sure where SCU5 is yet.
I then tried a few different ways of dialing a valid call, for example using NPA-NXX-XXXX or 1-NXX-XXXX for a local call. The switch put NPA-NXX-XXXX through without telling me that “your local call is proceeding, there is no need to dial long distance. Thank you from Telus.” My home switch _always_ tells me that when I dial a local call with the NPA. It just went right through here, though. 1-NXX-XXXX didn’t go through at all, instead I got an intercept telling me that I “…have dialed a local call” and that I don’t need a 1 or 0. Different than home. 0-NXX-XXXX did the same thing as 1-NXX-XXXX.
A few N11 codes: 211 and 511 went straight to a “cannot be completed as dialed” intercept. 811 however, always rang at least once before going to a “cannot be completed as dialed” intercept. 311 went directly to reorder.
A bit of miscellania. Putting 780-310 through 1010323 also runs to reorder immediately. I was going to try putting 1010323-0-250-NXX-XXXX through, but instead of the “wecome to the automated service” I was expecting, it told me, “We’re sorry, the long distance access code you used is invalid for the type of call you dialed.” So much for that in. In my home area, 1010323+0 for valid numbers usually routes to an automated operator service. 700-555-4141 yields a “two five zero one zero” intercept. Putting 700-555-4141 through the 1010323 CAC yields a “Your Long Distance provider is Telus” message.
Every time I travel to other places in Telus territory, I’m always interested by the variety in switch configurations.
So I found yet another trick using Carrier Access codes to dial unneccessary digits and still get your call to go through. This method is an aweful hack.
This is in reference to this: (http://tim.omghax.ca/?page_id=10)
Basically, if you read that thread, I say that in my area, I can dial calls in the format 101XXXX+1+NPA-NXX-XXXX where NPA is 780 and NXX is any exchange within the Edmonton city limits that is a Telus landline exchange. The switch reads what I am dialing, and will intercept my call at the thousands-block if it does not meet the parameters. So that means I can only dial 101XXXX+1+NPA-NXX-X .
Funny enough, what else fits in this setup?
I’m suprised I hadn’t thought of this sooner. Anyways, so yes, now you can abuse the thousands-block matching and still dial any number in your local calling area. Yet another way to dial a call in Edmonton!
Doesn’t work for calls made outside your local calling area but still within 780.
So here’s a “scan” of sorts I did recently. Calls were placed from my home 780-473, Edmonton Alberta through Telus and Bell Canada’s networks, using their Carrier Access Codes, to 310 exchanges in other provinces. 310 is for those who don’t know, only routeable if you are originating and terminating your call in the same province. It’s area-dependant, and the databases don’t (as far as I know) cross provinces. Anyways. First column is the area code I’m dialing. Second column is the recording trailer code, if any, and comments.
Quebec__________450_____514-2 (Outside Montreal area)
Montreal, QC____438_____local (514/438 Montreal overlay)
Montreal, QC____514_____514-2 (514/438 Montreal overlay)
Toronto, ON_____416_____416-3 (416/647 Toronto overlay)
Toronto, ON_____647_____local (416/647 Toronto overlay)
Ontario_________905_____416-3 (Outside Toronto area 905/289 overlay)
Ontario_________289_____local (Outside Toronto area 905/289 overlay)
South Ontario___519_____local (519/226 overlay)
South Ontario___226_____local (519/226 overlay)
West Ontario____807_____Bell recording with no tandem ID
South Alberta___403_____“Your local call is proceeding…” + Not-in-service message
Most of B.C_____250_____416-3
Vancouver_______778_____local (778/604 Vancouver overlay)
Ontario_________905_____Bell recording with no tandem ID
South Ontario___519_____519-4 (horrible quality recording)
West Ontario____807_____Bell recording with no tandem ID
Most of B.C_____250_____local
Nova Scotia_____902_____Telus Long Distance Services
New Brunswick___506_____Telus Long Distance Services
Eastern Quebec__418_____Telus Long Distance Services
Quebec__________450_____Telus Long Distance Services
Montreal, QC____438_____Telus Long Distance Services
Montreal, QC____514_____Telus Long Distance Services
Toronto, ON_____416_____Telus Long Distance Services
Central Ontario_705_____Telus Long Distance Services
Ontario_________905_____Telus Long Distance Services
South Ontario___519_____Telus Long Distance Services
West Ontario____807_____Telus Long Distance Services
Saskatchewan____306_____Telus Long Distance Services
Most of B.C_____250_____780-7
514-2 is really 514-1, 514-2, 514-4
416-3 is really 416-3, 416-11, 416-13
519-4 is really 519-4, 519-23
<1> The lady in this recording sounds unlike anything I am familier with. There is also no tandem recording, so I have no idea where this is.
There seems to be a few patterns. When calling an overlay through Bell, one NPA in the overlay seems to intercept locally, and the other NPA generally intercepts remotely. Also, when I get a local “Cannot Be Completed As Dialed” intercept when calling through 1010323-1+, I will usually get a 780-7 intercept when calling through 1010323-0+.
I intend to do this for a few other carriers that have CACs, like Yak Communications. In fact, I’ll probably do that one next. It’ll be interesting to see what recordings come up for Yak.
Telus recently put up a new intercept (at least in my city, Edmonton) for their “Your call cannot be completed as dialed” message. The intercept states, “The number you have called cannot be completed as dialed. Please check the area code, and number, or dial 411 for direct assistance.” The voice on the recording sounds very nasally, and far away. It’s an altogether unpleasent intercept. This new intercept replaced their old CBCAD intercept. They still use the “old voice” for everything other than CBCAD, though. I listened to a large number of other intercepts to see if I could find any other condition where the “new voice” was used, but only CBCAD seems to be affected.
When you call a number that CBCAD such as “200-1234″ (which is a non-existant exchange-suffix) direct it’ll play once, then a second time – but it cuts out partway through the second time. This intercept behaves a little different when you’re getting to it by three-weay calling. For instance, if you call someone, then flash, and call “200-1234″, the intercept won’t (attempt to) repeat. It will only play one time.
In case you weren’t aware, Telus offers a busy line camping-and-ringback feature. The feature is that Telus will monitor a busy line you call for 30 minutes, and ring both you and the party and bridge you together if the line becomes free within 30 minutes. The intercept you hear when direct-dialing a busy line is something like this:
“This number is busy. For a one dollar charge, Telus will monitor the line for 30 minutes. A special ringing tone will tell you when the line is free…”
Telus’s busy line camping-and-ringback feature does something interesting on three-way. When you call a busy number via three-way, the camping-and-ringback feature is not activated. For example, if I was to call a friend, then flash, and call a number I knew was busy, Telus would not give me the option to active camp-and-ringback. I hadn’t noticed this previously.
I’ve been playing with 310 calls some more lately. As I said in a previous post, 310 exchanges are used in Canada for AIN (Advanced Intelligent Network) features. The 310 exchange is not routable unless your call originates and terminates within the same NPA. And even then, sometimes it’s not routeable.
Just a few comments on how 310 calls route from my home line in Edmonton, using Bell long distance.
Let’s say I was going to make a call from my home phone line (780, Edmonton, Alberta) to 250-310-0000, in Nanaimo, British Columbia. BC is west of Alberta. This call will route from Edmonton, AB to Toronto, Ontario. In fact, all 310 calls destined to either Saskatchewn (306), Manitoba (204), or most of BC (250) will route through the 416 exchange in Toronto, and intercept there. That is of course only the case for calls originating from a line using Bell long distance in Edmonton (780). Another note about the 416 tandem. Intercepts in 416 can come from a number of switches in Toronto. For example, I could either get an intercept message with a “416-1″ trailer code, a “416-3″ trailer code, or perhaps a “416-13″ trailer code. “416-11″ is also fairly common, as is “416-2″. I have heard other 416 trailer codes on occasion, but that is very rare. I find it interesting how the call can be picked up from any number of switches. To compare, the only exchange that ever identifies itself with a trailer code in Edmonton is “780-7″.
416 isn’t the only exchange that picks up 310 calls not destined for it’s NPA, by the way. 902-2 intercepts 310 calls originating in Edmonton (from a line using Bell long distance) and destined for Nova Scotia (902) and New Brunswick (506). That’s two seperate provinces. However, that isn’t really suprising – it’s likely that calls have to travel through Nova Scotia to get to New Brunswick. Also, the 514 exchange (Montreal, QC) intercepts calls destined for most of Quebec – 514, 450, and 418. That’s the Greater Montreal metro area, the surrounding areas within a few hundred kilometers of Montreal, and the Eastern Quebec region, respectively. Again, that’s hardly suprising behaviour. Also, dialing to the 310 exchange in the 519 (South Ontario) NPA will give an intercept from either “519-4″ or “519-23″.
One thing that is interesting is how 310 calls to southern Alberta are handled when calling from a Bell line. In case you were not aware, in 1999, the 403 area code split, and a few hundred prefixes were carried to a new NPA – 780. 780 was assigned to northern Alberta, while 403 stayed in southern Alberta. Anyways, when you dial a call destined to, say, 403-310-0000 from Edmonton (780), you might hear something like this:
“Your local call is proceeding. There is no need to dial long distance. Thank you, from Telus.”
“This number is not in service. Please check your directory, or dial zero for assistance. Thank you, from Telus.”
Telus is very kind to people dialing unneccessary digits. Telus will complete a local call (7 digits) whether you dial it 425-1234, 0-435-1234, 1-435-1234, 780-435-1234, or 1-780-435-1234. In fact, you can even dial a local number through a carrier access code, as in 1010323-1-780-435-1234, and your call will still be completed for you. However, unless you dial your call as only seven digits, it will be prefaced with a message telling you that “Your local call is proceeding. There is no need to dial long distance. Thank you, from Telus.” Not a bad service, I say – they’re definately keeping it interesting. Anyways, I don’t know why Telus seems to think that 403-310 is local to me. 310 is non-geographic, it’s an AIN feature. I am under the impression that perhaps 310 numbers are purchased on a per-province bases – for example, buying “310-4444″ in British Columbia would give you 250-310-4444, 604-310-4444, and 778-310-4444. I could be wrong on that, but based on how my city is treating 403 as if it’s a local call…who knows.
Oddly enough, this strange “local call is proceeding” message doesn’t occur when you place a call to a 310 exchange through a Telus carrier access code, such as 1010323. For example, if I was going to dial “1010323-1-403-310-0000″, I would get an intercept from my local exchange.
In general, the intercepts I hear when making 310 calls through Telus’ 101323 carrier access code are not very verbose. In fact, calls to the 310 exchange in NPAs 306, 416, 807, and 905 have no trailer code identifying the switch. This is in contrast to making 310 calls through Bells network – when I make 310 calls from Edmonton using Bells network to various Canadian NPAs, 13 out of 24 NPA’s have trailer codes identifying the switch, compared to 4 out of 24 when calling through Telus’ carrier access code. Bear in mind though, that a local exchange intercepts the call when calling through Telus’ network. Calling through Bell’s network means that your call is more likely to intercept at a distant exchange. Also, some of the intercepts I hear when calling through 1010323 are just horrible. Particularly when calling 519-310. When I place a call from Edmonton to 519-310 over Telus’ network, I will get an intercept from 519-4. The quality of the intercept recording is aweful, likely the worst I’ve ever heard. Another oddity when calling through 1010323 – calls originating in Edmonton and destined for either 306-310 or 416-310 intercept to this recording of a lady that I never hear anywhere else. It’s a lady I only hear in this dialing situation, and there’s no trailer code to I.D. the location of the recording. To me, though, the recording sounds Bell-ish, if that makes any sense.
There’s also an interesting situation when dialing 0+ through Telus’ 1010323 carrier access code. If I was to dial, say, 1010323-0-250-310-0000, I would get an intercept from “780-7″. I get a “780-7″ intercept whenever I call 10101323-0+ to any of the 204, 226, 289, 403, 604, 613, 709, 778, 867 or 819 exchanges. 1010323-0+ to all the other Canadian exchanges direct me to “Telus Long Distance Services” automated operator.
Valemount is a small village (with a population of 1,195) along the Coquihala in British Columbia. During my recent stay there I had a chance to play with the telephones.
In Telus territory, test numbers are generally in the 958-X111 range. In Valemount, there are two 958 test numbers that go somewhere useful: 958-6111 and 958-4111. 958-6111 is an ANAC, an Automated Number Announcement Circuit. If you dial 958-4111, you will hear a slow busy tone. Once you hang up, though, the battery will be dropped on your line for two minutes. All the other 958-X111 numbers, such as 2111, 3111, 5111, and so on, intercept to a man loudly explaining that the number cannot-be-completed-as-dialed. Then a recording repeatedly states, “two-five-zero five-seven-two.” The recording repeats three times, then goes to reorder.
The telephones in Valemount are served by a DMS switch. This could be easily identified due to the exactly 30 pulses of busy tone, and 60 pulses of reorder tone that could be heard when calling a busy number, or reorder, respectively.
I didn’t get a great deal of time to play with the phones here. However, the was one interesting thing. The trailer code that is played after intercepts, “250-572″, is on it’s own recording. DMS switches have an odd behaviour when changing between recordings on the same switch. When changing between recordings on the same switch, a 1/8th of a second clip of another random recording on the switch is played. So, when the Valemount exchange plays the Cannot-Be-Completed-As-Dialed intercept, and then changes over to play the trailer code recording, a 1/8th of a second clip of another random recording on the switch can be heard. This is common behaviour for DMS switches, at least in my area. It’s generally more difficult to find a situation where the exchange switches between recordings, though. In Valemount, it’s easy.
Lately I have been making a lot of calls through different networks to 310 exchanges across the country. 310 exchanges are used in Canada for AIN (Advanced Intelligent Network) features.
First off, there are many ways to dial 310 calls in Edmonton. A few follow:
As you may have noticed, you can dial 310 calls as 7 digits, prefixed with a toll digit. Normal Edmonton 7-digit numbers can be dialed as “0+NXX-XXXX”. However, as far as I know, 310 is the only exchange that can be dialed with a 1+, as in “1+310-XXXX”. It seems silly to me to allow such a permissive dialing plan. I would think that Telus would incur additional costs by both having to strip the toll digit to place the call, and allowing both seven and ten-digit dialing formats. Oh well, I guess it’s their money, not mine.
As far as I can tell, 310 exchanges are unified within a province. So, 403-310-1010 and 780-310-1010 would both be owned by Pizza Hut, for example. This leads to some interesting situations when dialing 310 numbers prefaced with an NPA other than your own. For example, I could dial “1+403-310-1010″, and I would be greeted with a recording telling me “Your local call is proceeding. There is no need to dial long distance. Thank you from Telus.” Then, I’d get a Not-In-Service recording.
Dialing 310 numbers through Carrier Access codes also yeild interesting results. Attempting to dial something such as “1010323-1-780-310-2345″ will result in your call being intercepted at the thousands block, and a ” Your local call is proceeding” message, followed by a Cannot-Be-Completed-As-Dialed message. Similarly, dialing “1010323-0-310-0000″ will result in a “Your local call is proceeding” message, followed by a Not-In-Service message. Both of those dial strings would work if not dialed through a CAC. I remember reading something about 310 dialing through the long-distance network being not allowed. It makes sense, it’d probably cause problems with translations.
Calls do not route properly to 310 destinations outside of the caller’s province. I live in Alberta, if I wanted to call, say, 310 in Ontario, my call would not complete properly. Typically, I would get a tandem intercept of some sort when attempting to call a 310 number outside of my province. There seems to be a few patterns when dialing 310 numbers in provinces other than mine. When calling an NPA that is part of an overlay, using Bell as your long-distance carrier, one NPA in the overlay seems to intercept locally, and the other NPA generally intercepts remotely. Also, when I get a local Ã¢â?¬Å?Cannot Be Completed As DialedÃ¢â?¬Â intercept when calling through 1010323-1+, I will usually get a 780-7 intercept when calling through 1010323-0+.
I’ve been dialing calls to some non-geographic area codes lately. I’ve found a few weird things. Most of these calls were put though carrier access codes, namely 1010323. That’s Telus, in case you weren’t aware. Most of this stuff gives the normal-o stuff when dialing direct. Well, maybe not normal, but less interesting then when it’s put through CACs. Anyways. A few calls I put though to 710 did some weird things. NPA-700-1414 usually gives you a recorded message telling you who is used for local toll calls, if I’m not mistaken. I tried putting some calls through to 710-700-1414, but all I got was a Cannot-Be-Completed-As-Dialed message from my local office. However, when I put that through a CAC, like 1010323-1-710-700-1414 , I get a different message.
What I was getting was either a message like:
“your call cannot be completed as dialed. please check the number, and dial again. 093T”
“your call cannot be completed as dialed. please check the number, and dial again. 095T”
Both of these messages seem to happen with equal frequency.
A friend I was talking to informed me that 093T and 095T are both located in Washington state.
When I dialed something like 1010323-0-710-700-1414, or, in fact, 1010323-0-710-XXX-XXXX, I got the Telus self-serve long distance system.
If you look at the above picture of the Telus national network map, you’ll notice that Seattle is the closest hop-off point to me. I don’t know, but I assume that Telus always would route their call across their own network, to the closest (or lowest cost) hop-off point. By the way, I’m sure “hop-off point” isn’t the correct terminology. I’m not positive on what is, maybe someone could tell me. Anyways. Maybe Telus just sends the call to the closest American hop-off point for calls destined for the USA. The network endpoint in Seattle is the closest point to me, either way. By the way, I could be way off on all of this. If someone knows what is going on, I’d sure like to know. I’m not really sure how all this works.
I just thought it was interesting that my call would have to proceed until the US network (when dialing through 1010323) before the call would be picked up as invalid. Like I previously said, direct dialing 710-700-1414 will give me an intercept from my local exchange. Anyways, it’d be nice if someone else here from Telusland could try that out and tell me what their results are.
Also, while I’m still talking about non-geographic area codes, I’ll mention 456. I put a few calls through to numbers in the 456 NPA. 456 is, for anyone who doesn’t know, used for inbound international routing. I don’t know the specifics, but it’s used to identify which carrier is supposed to receive an inbound international call, at least, that’s as much as I know. I could be off on that, if someone wants to correct me, feel free. Either way, it doesn’t have anything dialable on it, as far as I know. Direct dialing anything in 456 just gives me a Cannot-Be-Completed-As-Dialed message from my local exchange.
When I put 0+ calls to 456 through 1010323, dialing like: 1010323+0+456-XXX-XXXX , I get an intercept from my tandem, 780-7.
Other non-geographic area codes, like 500, 600, 700, 800′s, and 900 all are match early when put through a CAC. For example, if I tried to dial: 1010323+1+800-123-4567, the call would match at “4″, and start dialing. So nothing interesting to see there.
Well, I was out downtown yesterday, and I stopped at a Protel payphone under the Epcor Center. Anyways, I spent some time playing around with this phone. The phone was supposed to mute the line, but I could hear the real dialtone if I pressed any buttons. One thing that was immediately apparent was that it was pre-dialing in the background. For example, if I picked up the handset, then pressed “5″, I would hear the Protel dialtone cut out, and I would hear the real dialtone very quietly in the background. Then, after about 2 seconds, I would hear a faint, “5″ being played in the background, cutting off the quiet CO dialtone. If I dialed a 7 digit number, like 234-5678, the payphone would ask me to deposit coins, then I would hear the whole dial string being slowly played in the background….”2″……”3″…….”4″…..and so on. Is this normal behaviour for Protel phones? I haven’t had the opportunity to hear a phone half-muted like this before. This phone was also interesting in that it would not allow me to dial any numbers in the 958 exchange. Our local ANAC is 958-6111. However, it would allow me to dial 570-420-9443, which is the ringback number in my area. Well, the “570″ part is. The “420-9443″ is the number of the phone I was calling from. Almost all payphones in the north and central parts of Edmonton have numbers in the 420 exchange. Anyways. I haven’t figured out a way to flash with it yet, though, without hanging up the whole call. So no deal on getting calls back. Besides, it would probably get the modem anyways. But the DTMF tests on the 570 number worked fine. Oddly enough, I got a “Cannot Be Completed As Dialed” intercept from my local tandem, when I tried to dial 1-700-555-1414.
Also, while I was downtown yesterday, I had the opportunity of playing with a Millenium payphone on Jasper Ave and 100st. The Millenium’s reciever had been half-pulled-out, so it would cut in-and-out a lot. I tried dialing some numbers in the 976 exchange, which is a “Public Announcement” exchange. 976-anything came back with a “Blocked – No Access” message on the Millenium. I was able to put calls through to the local ANAC, though, 958-6111. Dialing 0-958-6111, however, came back with a “Cannot Be Completed As Dialed – 780-7″ intercept. The ringback, 570-xxx-xxxx was blocked as well.
On December 14th, 1994, Stentor released a bulletin (TAPAC Bulletin No. 94-11) outlining changes to the Feature Group D dialing formats. The bulletin mentioned the creation of new Carrier Access Codes (CACs) in the format of 101XXXX. The new CACs were backwards compatible with older CACs, which were previously in the format of 10XXX. The new CACs would be permissively dialable from the period of Dec. 14th, 1994 to April 1st, 1999.
In 1994, the telephones in the city of Edmonton were provided by Edmonton Telephones Corporation. Ed-Tel’s Carrier Identification Code was 10324. When the new CAC format came into effect in December of 1994, Ed-Tel’s CAC was changed to 1010324. Ed-Tel was then bought by Telus in 1995. Telus’ current main CAC is 1010323. Telus has kept the old Ed-Tel 1010324 code dialable, though. However, the 10324 doesn’t seem to actualy complete calls. No suprise, I think it was just left behind as a courtesy.
I breifly mentioned the 1010324 code in the page on Carrier Access Codes (http://aliant.ath.cx/~tim/?p=3). I just wanted to add a few more comments here. First off, when dialing numbers through 1010324 that would normally require operator services (like 1010324+0+NPA-NXX-XXXX), you are greeted with a reorder. This is in contrast to the 1010323 code. When dialing an operator-handled call through the 1010323 code (in the format of 1010323+0+NPA+NXX+XXXX), you get the operator handling system. Also, when dialing something through the 1010324 code that would normally give a tandem intercept through the 1010323 code, you also only get boring old fast busy. Everything else gives a “This service is no longer available in your area. We apologize for the inconvenience” message. I don’t know who it’s inconveniencing, though. Dialing a local call through 1010324 (in the format 1010324+1+780-NXX-XXXX) will complete though, since the switches actually bypass the whole long-distance network if they determine the call is local, even if the call is dialed through a CAC.
It’s quite interesting that Telus keeps the old Ed-Tel CAC around. I mean sure, it’s a courtesy. But who actually dials it anymore? It’s been 11 years since Ed-Tel was bought by Telus.
“This service is no longer available in your area. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
In regards to the page and post on Carrier Access Codes in Edmonton (http://aliant.ath.cx/~tim/?p=3) :
1010424 was Alberta Goverment Telephones (AGT) primary Carrier Access Code (CAC), rather than BCTel’s as previously stated. In 1990, the Telus holding corporation was created out of the remnants of AGT, and 1010424 (then 10424) became Telus’ primary CAC.
1010323 was BCTel’s primary CAC, rather than Telus’, as previously stated.
1010324 was Ed-Tel’s CAC before they were bought by Telus in 1995.
The following was written by Mark Cuccia, it appears in Telecom Digest May 29, 1996. I thought it was interesting. I found the whole “Toll Wars” era very interesting. A link to the entire article is below.
At times, the relationship between Bell-Canada/TCTS companies and the independents weren't always "friendly". As recently as February 1984, the "Toll Wars" started between EdTel and AGT. EdTel (still at that time the municipally owned telco in Edmonton AB) began to "scramble" its AMA (Automatic Message Accounting) billing records for outbound toll calls, all routed through AGT (still at that time the provincially owned telco for Alberta), due to a dispute regarding toll revenue settlements. AGT retaliated by intercepting all outgoing toll traffic from EdTel at AGT's toll and operator switch for an (ONI) Operator Number Identification, "What is the number you are calling from, please?" A few months later, an agreement was reached between AGT and EdTel regarding the division of toll revenues, and things returned to normal. Last year, Telus, now the parent company of AGT, purchased EdTel from the Edmonton city government. For the time being, Telus will continue to provide telephone service in Edmonton using the EdTel name.
I’ve been making a fair amount of calls to N11 numbers lately. Of particular interest is 211, the Edmonton public information number. When I pick up the phone and dial ’211′, I’m greeted with a female voice telling me, “you have reached 211 edmonton, your call may be monitored for quality assurance. please press 1.”
What I find interesting is the “chhchunk” sound prior to the 211 message. Edmonton and area is mostly DMS switches. As far as I’ve found, the DMS series of switches generally make only a soft click when completing a call. This “chhchuck” sound is very un-DMS like. I can’t pin down the switchtype, though. It could be just some noise at the beginning of the recording, though. I’ll try to get ahold of someone who knows what type of exchange serves the 211 system.
Also, I found another way to dial N11 calls, 780-N11. That brings Edmonton to a total of five ways to dial N11 calls. They are:
I also asked the operator to try dialing “780-211″, however, she only got a “your call cannot be completed as dialed” intercept.
The following is from a post made by Mark Cuccia that appeared in Telecom Digest.
The telephone company in Edmonton Alberta had for decades been owned by the city government. Early last year (1995), Telus, now the parent company of AGT purchased EdTel from the city government of Edmonton.
Edmonton had dial service since about 1910 or so, using Step-by-Step equipment. It was originally supposed to have a ‘Lorimer’ system which was a Ã¢â?¬Ë?rotaryÃ¢â?¬â?¢ version of the future panel switch, however the purchase order wasnÃ¢â?¬â?¢t fulfilled by the time the telephone company wanted to begin converting some exchanges to dial. The Edmonton District Telephone Company thus purchased Stroger step equipment from Automatic Electric of Chicago. Originally, EdmontonÃ¢â?¬â?¢s dial equipment was Ã¢â?¬Ë?three-wireÃ¢â?¬â?¢. Ringing was NOT provided by machines, but still by either turning a magneto crank (although power was common battery), or by pressing a button after dialing the local number. Thus it was possible to press or crank out Ã¢â?¬Ë?codedÃ¢â?¬â?¢ rings to identify *who* was calling, which individual at a number was *being* called, or to Ã¢â?¬Ë?telegraphÃ¢â?¬â?¢ out family messages without even having to verbally converse! (Something like what could be done on a Ã¢â?¬Ë?party lineÃ¢â?¬â?¢)
Eventually, this system was converted to standard two-wire connections, along with central office based automatic Ã¢â?¬Ë?ringing machinesÃ¢â?¬â?¢.
I donÃ¢â?¬â?¢t have the years any particular exchange was introduced, nor when an exchange was converted from manual to dial. However, I do have information here regarding EdmontonÃ¢â?¬â?¢s conversion to 2L-5N (seven digit) numbers, which occurred in one night, on 15 March 1959.
Edmonton had five and six digit local numbers prior to this. No names had been used, although the exchange was identified by the first digit for five digit local numbers, or first two digits for six digit local numbers.
In 1959, Edmonton began to use *named* exchanges, rather than simply converting to seven numerical digits. AT&T and the other North American telephone companies had been considering eliminating Ã¢â?¬Ë?namesÃ¢â?¬â?¢ for exchanges about this time (ANC, All Number Calling), so it does seem ironic that they would have gone from all numbers (although less than seven digits) to *named* exchanges at such a late date when converting to seven dialpulls.
2-xxxx became GArden-2-xxxx (422)
4-xxxx became GArden-4-xxxx (424)
9-xxxx (provincial government offices) became CApital-9 (229) (Sometime by the late 1960Ã¢â?¬â?¢s, 229 for the provincial offices was changed to an Edmonton form 4NX exchange, although I donÃ¢â?¬â?¢t know what it would be. All Calgary numbers were of the form 2NX by that time.)
All other numbers were six digits, with the first digit being converted to a letter:
3x-xxxx became GEneva x-xxxx (43x)
5x-xxxx became GLendale x-xxxx (45x)
6x-xxxx became HOmestead x-xxxx (46x)
7x-xxxx became GRanite x-xxxx (47x)
88-xxxx became HUnter 8-xxxx (488)
89-xxxx became HUdson 9-xxxx (489)
It does seem from the Ã¢â?¬Ë?numbering arrangementÃ¢â?¬â?¢ that Edmonton was still exclusively a ‘step-by-step’ city at the time of conversion to seven dialpulls, although Edmonton Telephones might have begun introducing #5XB offices at the time. Maybe someone has further details to fill in any gaps.
I also want to thank Geoff Capp who supplied me with most of this Edmonton exchange history.
MARK J. CUCCIA
The following was part of an email sent to me. IÃ¢â?¬â?¢ve edited it a bit.
Edmonton was not always AGT/Telus, but rather EdTel (aka ‘edmonton telephones’ or ‘et’) which was owned by the city government. AGT (Alberta Government Telephones) was owned by the provincial government for the remainder of the province. In the early 1990s, the provincial government wanted eato make AGT more of a private company (though publicly owned by stockholders), rather than an operation owned by the provincial government. The Telus holding company was created, and spun-off to investors/stockholders, the Telus holding company now owning AGT.
In 1995, Telus bought out EdTel from the Edmonton city government.In 1996, the corporate/holding company Telus name (lower case Ã¢â?¬Ë?tÃ¢â?¬â?¢ logo) completely replaced the older historical names of EdTel (or ‘edmonton telephones’) and AGT.Calgary developed with 403-2NX central office codes when it went to seven-digits. Prior to 2L-5N (later seven-digits), their numbers were ONE-letter and four-digits (five pulls of the dial). i think that Calgary went from 1L-4N to 2L-5N in the mid-1950s. But the Calgary lettered dial was DIFFERENT than the rest-of-the-US/Canada.
I donÃ¢â?¬â?¢t remember offhand how it was specifically lettered, but there was a SINGLE letter to each digit. That single letter represented the first letter of the exchange name. But the lettering was NOT even a subset of the 3-letters-per-digit of the common North American dial.
When Calgary changed to 2L-5N (which evolved to seven numeric digits), they adopted the North American lettered dial as well, when the exchange names were wholesale changed to ones beginning with Ã¢â?¬Ë?AÃ¢â?¬â?¢, Ã¢â?¬Ë?BÃ¢â?¬â?¢ and Ã¢â?¬Ë?CÃ¢â?¬â?¢ (with the second letter of the name also dialed), to correspond to new 2NX format exchange or office codes.
More recently, since the 1990s, other formats are used for Calgary 403-NXX codes rather than just 403-2NX.
Edmonton, I THINK that they might have simply had five-digit local numbers which were changed to 403-4NX numbers based on the Ã¢â?¬Ë?GÃ¢â?¬â?¢, Ã¢â?¬Ë?HÃ¢â?¬â?¢, Ã¢â?¬Ë?IÃ¢â?¬â?¢ letters associated with the Ã¢â?¬Ë?4?. By the 1990s, the use of the rigid 403-4NX format was abolished (similar to how Calgary broke out of the 403-2NX format).
And then in 1999, the 780 NPA split from 403. 403 was retained by the southern third of the province (including Calgary), with 780 now for the central (including Edmonton) and northern thirds of the province.
In case you arenÃ¢â?¬â?¢t aware, N11 numbers are numbers like 611, 411, and so on. There are a few ways to dial N11 numbers (aside from normally dialing N11, of course). You can dial:
to complete an N11 call. These three methods will all precede the N11 call with a ‘Your local call is completing, there is no need to dial long distance, thank you from Telus’ message. Then they will complete the call as normally.
Following are a few conditions and results for 0+ dialing in Edmonton.
0+10 … Intercepts at the second “0″. No suprise, it’s looking for 011+whatever.
“Welcome to Bell Canada’s Automated Billing Service.”
“Welcome to Bell Canada’s Automated Billing Service.”
“Welcome to Bell Canada’s Automated Billing Service.”
“Welcome to Bell Canada’s Automated Billing Service.”
0+600-555-1234 matches and intercepts at the “1″.
“Welcome to Bell Canada’s Automated Billing Service.”
0+800-555-1234 matches and intercepts at the “1″.
0+900-555-1234 matches and intercepts at the “1″.
Dialing 0+ in a situation where you would normally get the “Welcome to Bell Canada…” recording will occasionally give you a different recording. This different recording is, “Please enter your calling card number, or dial 0 to reach an operator. This is a recording.” If you don’t dial anything within 4 seconds, an operator will come on the line. I’m assuming there are 2 call centers, or something. Both call centers go to Bell Canada. I asked the “Please enter your calling card number…” operator, and she said she was a Bell operator. So I’m guessing they have 2 call centers.
A few comments about intercepts from the tandem. The intercepts from my tandem are labeled “780-7″. You can get intercepts from 780-7 by doing the following:
You’ll get a Cannot Be Completed As Dialed message from “780-7″.
This is different than 1010323+1+700-555-1414, which will give you a Cannot Be Completed As Dialed message from your end office.
Those are the only definate conditions for getting 780-7 messages that I have found so far. If you find anything else, throw me an email, I’d be interested to hear!
1010324 was Telus’ primary CAC for the Edmonton area, and most of Alberta, before the merger with BCTEL. Now, 1010323 is Telus’ primary CAC, so 1010323-0 will give you an operator, and 1010324-00 will give you a long distance operator. The 1010324-0 simply gives you a fast busy. Same with 1010324-00. So if you sign up for normal Telus long distance, you’ll get 1010323 as your CAC. I don’t beleive that Telus has any additional casual-use charges for use of their CAC.
1010424 was BCTEL’s primary CAC for it’s areas of control in BC, before the merger with Telus. Post-merger, 1010424 became a “special services” CAC. In other words, 1010424 was used for people that required special billing or special features of some sort. 1010424 has varied accessibility in different areas of Canada. It’s accessible from Edmonton, but that is all that I can verify at this time. I’ll explain what I consider “accessible” to be later on.
A few other carriers also have CACs that are accessible from Edmonton and surrounding areas, for example Primus (1010615), Bell Canada (1010363), and Sprint (1010348).
A Carrier Access Code is a code that enables you to select which long distance provider you want to handle your calls. For example, if I sign up for Telus long distance. Let’s say that I want to call my friend “Chris” in Massachusetts (NPA 413). Telus long distance might be 9 cents a minute, anywhere in Canada and the USA. But, let’s say that Sprint has a special rate of 5 cents a minute to Massachusetts. I’d rather use the Sprint carrier. So, instead of dialing the number as I normally would (1-413-445-6666), I would prefix the number with the Carrier Access Code. This would yeild, “1010348-1-413-445-6666.” Dialing this number would route my call over Sprint’s long distance network for this call only. Dialing in this way (with the CAC prefixed before your number) is referred to as “Casual Use.” Interexchange carriers are will often charge casual-use calls at a higher rate than the posted long-distance prices. It is best to verify the casual use rates (if any) with your IXC before using CACs.
Anyways, on to the specific behaviour of CACs. Prefixing your call with a CAC and calling a toll number often results in very different behaviour than simply direct dialing a toll number. Often, dialing through CACs yeild many restrictions that are not present when direct dialing numbers, such as restrictions on 900-number dialing, 800/888/877/866 toll-free number dialing, 950-XXXX (Feature Group B ) dialing, 700-number dialing, and many other restrictions. Often, attempting to dial a local number through a CAC will yeild a Cannot-Be-Completed-As-Dialed (CBCAD) error, or simply a fast-busy. This is expecially evident in many parts of the USA and Eastern Canada. However, when dialing local numbers through CACs in Edmonton and many other parts of Western Canada, the restrictions are slightly different. I will explain the behaviour below.
For those readers that are not familier, Telus has a very lax system, when it comes to dialing formatting for local numbers. There are only a few, but any of the following will complete properly, and charge as a local call:
So you can see there is a lot of flexibility on how you want to dial your local calls. Both 958-6111 and 780-958-6111 will terminate normally, and ring the party after you’ve finished dialing. 1-780-958-6111, however, will play a message that states, “Your local call is proceeding. There is no need to dial long distance. Thank you, from Telus,” before completing your call (assuming you called a number that terminated properly, and didn’t intercept, or do something weird).
All CACs in my area have fairly standard behaviour when it comes to dialing local numbers. Also, this behaviour is quite different than normal direct-dialing. Normally, you dial the whole number as one string, and the entire string is parsed at once. However, certain CACs can be made to match at the thousands block, instead of waiting for the entire string to be dialed. The situations that will cause a CAC to match at the thousands block are as follows. Note that it is assumed that the conditions below are prefixed with a CAC. Note that these are also general situations, there are specific situations that can cause other specific intercepts, those will be listed and explained later.
1. Dialing a local number that is in the same exchange (NXX) as you.
For example, if my number was “780-444-5555″, and I dialed, “1010424-1-780-444-5556″, my pattern would be matched at the thousands block (which is the first “5″, in case you weren’t aware), and will immediately intercept. The exact intercept it gives is discussed later.
2. Dialing a local number that is outside of the city you live in.
For example, if I lived in Edmonton, and I dialed an exchange in Sherwood Park (which is just outside of Edmonton), such as 464, it would again, intercept at the thousands block. Sherwood Park is normally a local call when direct dialed.
3. Dialing a cellular prefix within your city.
For example, if “903″ is a cellular prefix in Edmonton, then dialing “1010424-1-780-906-6″ will intercept after I dial the thousands block (the last “6″), before I can finish entering the number.
All of these conditions will give the same intercept. As soon as you finish dialing the the thousands block, it will ring for a certain amount of time, then the call will intercept to a recording of “Your local call is proceeding. There is no need to dial long distance. Thank you, from Telus.” Then, you’ll hear a quarter-second snippet of some other intercept recording on the switch (which is a documented DMS bug that has never been fixed, likely because it occurs so rarely, and isn’t really an annoyance). Following the snippet, you will hear ringing. You will then hear an intercept message. Note that the intercept message can sometimes come on *before* the ringing, and the ringing will be heard overlayed on the error message. The error message states, “The number you have called cannot be completed as dialed. Please check the area code and number before trying again, or dial 411 for directory assistance.” This error will repeat three times, and on the third time, it will but off before it can get to the word, “assistance.” Also note that dialing a local number prefixed with a CAC doesn’t actually go through the CAC. So, even though you might not have Bell Canada long distance, you can still dial a local number (subject to the previous requirements) prefixed with a CAC.
A bit more on local calling through CACs. I wanted to get another viewpoint on this interesting situation, so I called up the Telus Network Operations Center, and talked to a fellow in DMS Switching, Jason. He was on break, but he took some time to talk to me, which I really appreciate. When I explain what I had encountered with not being able to call cellular numbers, or out-of-city numbers through any CACs, he noted a few things that he thought might cause that. He mentioned that it was possible that the switches would not route *local* calls prefixed with a CAC from tandem to tandem, but would only route them from tandem to end-offices. So, any end-offices not directly connected to the tandem would not be able to be contacted, and he speculated that was why only calls within the city of Edmonton could be made through the CACs. Of course, this was speculation, and it would be appreciated if someone outside of Edmonton could verify that you really can, only call numbers in your city. I also discussed the issue of not being able to call numbers on your own exchange with Jason, he attributed it to switch programming as well, but neither of us were aware of any particular hardware restriction or regulation that would require it to be so. By all rights, it should work. Either way, thanks Jason for the comments!
Alright, a bit more on 1010424. As I previously stated, 1010424 is a CAC that is now used for “special services.” Not every regular casual caller can use all the features on the line. Some of the following conditions will cause 1010424 to tell you, “We’re sorry, you are not authorized to call the number dialed.”
1. Dialing a Feature Group ‘B’ number
2. Dialing 1010424-0 (operator)
3. Dialing 1010424-00 (long distance operator)
4. Dialing any long-distance number
ex: 1010424-1-604-477-1452. Note that it doesn’t matter if the number supervises or not, it still intercepts to that message.
5. Dialing 1-780-555-1212
This illustrates where 1010424 contrasts with 1010323. All of the previous stated conditions are conditions that would require the “special billing” parts of the system to be activated. Simply dialing local calls, within your own city, and not on your own switch, however, are local calls, and like most of Telus-land, free. So the “special billing” stuff never has to get activated. Also note, you can still dial 1-700-555-4141 and it’ll tell you that “Telus” is your long-distance carrier. So if you want to verify that this is a valid CAC for Telus, you can, right like that.
Alright, a bit more about 1010323. 1010323 is the normal Telus CAC, and you can place calls normally through it. 1010323-0 yeilds you an operator, 1010323-00 gets you a long-distance operator. You can place long-distance calls normally, and “special” stuff like Directory Assistance (1-NPA-555-1212) works normally, and when you dial through and place local calls, with the restrictions I listed above on local calls.
Alright, a bit more on some other CACs. Bell Canada’s CAC is 1010363, and it’s quite similar to Telus’ 1010323, with a few notable differences. You can’t call an operator (via either 1010363-0 or 1010363-00) through Bell’s CAC, at least, I’ve never gotten one. It might be possible to get an operator if you are subscribed to the service, but I’ve never gotten one. Comments, anyone? Also, if you dial up 1010363-1-700-555-4141, you’ll get a nice messages telling you that Bell Canada is your long distance provider. Trying to make a normal long distance call, though, will net you the message, “We’re sorry, the service you are calling cannot be reached by this method.”
Primus also runs 1010615, which is entirely unremarkable, except for 1010615-0, which will get you an automated attendant. I’m not sure if Primus has any additional casual-use charges. Telus’ old CAC, 1010324, will intercept with the message, “This service is no longer available in your area. We apologize for the inconvenience,” no matter what you try to call. Sprint runs a CAC as well, 1010348, which is again, entirely unremarkable.