Portland, Oregon calling areas

Portland, Oregon calling areas

Post by Babu Mengelepout » Fri, 11 Jun 1999 04:00:00




>> For example, in Chicago the basic area is a distance of eight miles in
>> any direction, or normally, the subscriber's central office and the
>> offices next adjacent to him in any direction. The calls are not 'free';
>> but they are untimed. As an example, for about three or four cents
>> you can make such a call and talk as long as desired, where calls to
>> places beyond the local or basic area are timed, at three or four
>> cents for each timed interval. This applies in Chicago to residential
>> subscribers only. Business subscribers get no basic or local area:
>> they pay three or four cents for each timed interval regardless of
>> where the called party is located within the 'local area' or LATA.


Quote:> And in places like Portland, Oregon the local calling area is something
> like 50 miles across (if I'm reading the map correctly). If you've got
> "standard" phone service, there's no per call charge for your calls
> inside most of that area. For an extra $3(?) a month you get all of the
> area. All for a fixed monthly rate of around $25.
> While we do have "measured service" available, state law forbids making
> it mandatory. There are various plans available for the folks on
> measured service. They pay a lower monthly fee, but pay some sort of
> per call fee based on distance and possibly on time.

Surprisingly, it is even farther across than that.  It is actually a
local call from Yamhill, Oregon (at the foot of the Coast Range) to
Hoodland, Oregon (at the base of Mount Hood beyond Zigzag), a distance
of over 80 miles.  It is substantial north to south as well; from north
Portland to Canby is about 30 miles.  Prior to the 1994 expansion of the
Portland Extended Area Service area, the total local calling area was,
according to {The Oregonian}, in excess of 3,500 square miles -- second
largest in the country behind Atlanta.  I think that Portland is still
in second place, but am not sure of the new extent of the local calling
area.  The additional territory (Hoodland, Canby, Aurora and Yamhill)
was substantial.

It is worthy of note that in the Portland area, it is a local call from
anywhere within the Extended Area Service area to anywhere else in that
area.  Therefore, even if you are on the "edge" (in places such as
Yamhill, Hoodland, Crown Point or Canby) you can still call anywhere
locally that someone in downtown Portland could call.  However, this
does come at a price -- the farther from Portland you are, in general, the
higher the monthly rate for telephone service.

There are two * LECs in the Portland area, and a couple of
independents and cooperatives which participate in the calling zone.
GTE has most of the suburbs to the west and east of Portland, such as
Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Gresham.  USWest has the city of Portland,
and the suburbs to the south and southeast, including Lake Oswego and
Gladstone (hello Tonya Harding!).  However, they do not have *all* of
the southern suburbs; Tualatin is serviced by GTE (and is,
interestingly, the only GTE city in the Portland area which operates
[operated?] a Western Electric switch, a 5ESS -- GTD5 is the switch of
choice in GTE's Portland territory).  GTE also *used* to operate
B-band cellular service in the Portland area until early 1995, when
they traded their Portland territory for USWest Cellular's San Diego
territory (USWest Cellular is now Airtouch).  

The largest independent is Cascade Utilities, which serves the
depressed former timber town of Estacada and some small towns in the
scenic Columbia Gorge (which are also local to Portland until you hit
Sprint United Telephone's territory about halfway to Hood River).  PTI
Communications serves the small towns of Aurora and Charbonneau, which
are on the southern outskirts of the Portland area, and also on the
southern outskirts is the Canby Telephone Association, a cooperative
that serves the town of Canby.  There is also a cooperative which has
as service area east of Oregon City called something along the lines
of the Glorious People's Mutual Telephone Republic of Redlands,
although the exact name escapes me at the moment.  And yes, they are
in the local calling area.  :)

As for measured service, it is *optional* but *not* required (in fact,
the LECs prefer not to sell it).  For a long time, it was not possible
to have a measured service line in addition to an "unlimited" line, but
the tariff changed in 1994 (after I and several other BBS sysops
complained to the Oregon Public Utility Commission).  This is important,
because an "unlimited" line is useful but also quite expensive, ranging
from about $18 per month in Portland to over $30 on the outskirts of the
metropolitan area.  For the price, though, unlimited means just that:
unlimited.  You may make any number of calls to anywhere in the local
calling area for a flat monthly rate.  There are no per call or per
minute charges of any kind with this plan, which is called "EAS
calling."  

There are two types of measured lines available: one, called "measured
service," charges per minute for *all* local calls, measured by zone
(which is based on mileage).  Some of the per-minute zone calls can be
over 7 cents per minute, when calling from one end of the metropolitan
area to the other.  There is another type of measured service called
"community calling," which allows you to call any exchange in your own
city (usually a central office) for no per-minute charge, but calls
outside of your "community" are billed per minute as with a regular
measured service line.  There is *no* charge to receive *any* calls, so
if your friend has "EAS calling" service and you do not, there is no
reason not to make a very brief call and have him call you back
immediately; some people do this in order to save money.

However bizarre it may seem, even though Portland has such a huge
local calling area, it's a long distance call across the river to
Vancouver, Washington -- a flat, ugly but bustling bedroom community
to Portland and a city in its own right (in fact the fourth largest
and most religious-right Republican city in Washington state).  It is
also an *intralata* toll call to/from Portland, and the toll charges
can be quite expensive; historically calls to/from Vancouver have been
more expensive than coast-to-coast calls at the same time of day
(though with intralata PIC in Washington this is slowly changing)!
Many people who live/work in Vancouver "beat" this by maintaining
cellular service.  Every cellular carrier in the Portland area charges
calls to and from Vancouver (and some as far as Longview, about 60
miles away) as a "local" call, at only the regular airtime charge
(which is often less than the intralata toll charge).

Portland is an interesting telephone market, and I wish more cities
followed its example.  Actually, I wish more cities followed the example
of the Portland area in general.  But I digress ...

 
 
 

1. anyone using USWest RADSL in the Portland Oregon area?

Hi!
    Just wondering what my service is going to be like, I got the 256 deluxe
service with the cisco 675.  I've already read  the cisco online docs, and
it looks like a good router.  Does default uswest setup use it in bridge or
router mode?  Also, about the bandwidth, This is supposedly Radsl meaning
its "rate adaptive"  what speeds should I be expecting?  I live in a brand
new apartment complex (new phone equiptment) that is about 6000ft. from the
CO.  Thanks for any tips/advice you can give!

John

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