Chris Benson wrote:
> The people in uk.telecom were suggesting a one-off-this-will-hurt-but-
> it'll-only-happen-once change where the entire country moved to 
>       (XXXX) YYYY-ZZZZ 
> format

Wouldn't that be rather wasteful? After all, population is distributed
unevenly. You have some cities with lots of inhabitants, and then you have
rural areas with a much smaller population density. Does that mean that in
rural areas, you (a) have an area code covering a *huge* area, or (b) waste
lots of phone numbers? As I see, it's one or the other.

Having short prefixes with many digits for big places and longer prefixes
with fewer digits for small places seems to make sense to me. It's how
England and Germany do it. (For example, a boy in my sister's school class
had a three-digit phone number, and a five-digit area code. Small village,
so didn't need many digits, and small area code area overall; five digits
was the maximum length before East Germany came into the game.) Maximum
length for phone numbers used to be 7 in Germany but is now 8 for
direct-dialled numbers (especially for new numbers caused by switching to
ISDN); it can be more for exchanges with extensions (e.g. in companies) --
they might have, say, five digits + four-digit extension numbers.

However, USA and France seem to be doing all right with fixed-length numbers
(though in France, I hear they changed from 8 digits to (8 + 1 if you're
dialling from "central" France to "outer" France and vice versa) to 10
digits, with 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 (others?) giving a rough area, followed by
the previous 8 digits. So I guess they needed room for expansion, too.

And all this has what to do with Buffy?

Philip Newton <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
All opinions are my own, not my employer's.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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