BBS software for the PDP 11

Liam Proven lproven at
Sat May 20 08:42:09 CDT 2017

On 19 May 2017 at 21:39, jim stephens via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> I have news for you. (maybe) From 1976 until it petered out, the phone time
> cost a lot too.  $200 or more a month at times.

What does "phone time" mean in this context?

I mean, POTS billing, for me, was always time-based, but the amount
billed per unit time varied according to distance.

AIUI, the UK system -- local calls cheapish, long-distance calls
within the country more but not vast, international calls VERY
expensive -- contrasted with the US system: local calls free,
unlimited time, but long-distance calls within the country very
expensive. Thus the development of various early
telephony-over-the-Internet systems. I never used these at all until I
had an international long-distance relationship. No real point inside
the British Isles.

> Also a stupid charge for local calls where the PUC's didn't stand up to the


> Bell system or successors and call bullshit to the charges. Calling across a
> few blocks could cost a lot and you wouldn't know it unless you were a phone
> nut due to zone usage metering.

I don't know what "zone usage metering" is either.

> Only with competition in the mid 80s did US long distance start to fall, and
> now with the internet and voice over IP have the need to pay for most such
> long distance gone away for small users.

Well, yes, for everyone.

Now, in Europe, the problem is international mobile phone roaming. The
EU is slowly forcing this out, but in return, now, the cost of
roaming to non-EU countries is extortionate.

> I put in a couple of T1 based systems for large offices though as recently
> as 7 years ago, and commercially the POTS or digital carrier phone numbers
> carry a huge toll.


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