1994 Fools: 911 Chatline
From reb@ritz.mordor.com Fri Apr  1 23:25:03 EST 1994
Article: 37197 of comp.dcom.telecom
Path: bigblue.oit.unc.edu!concert!news.duke.edu!MathWorks.Com!europa.eng.gtefsd.com!howland.reston.ans.net!agate!spool.mu.edu!telecom-request
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 1994 09:01:56 -0500
From: Richard Baum <reb@ritz.mordor.com>
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: 911 Chatline
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X-Telecom-Digest: Volume 14, Issue 157, Message 3 of 16
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New service to pay for cost of enhanced 911
Date: Fri, 1 APR 94 8:20:19 EST

NEW YORK (AP) -- Century Communications announced today plans for an
exciting new 900 service, with profits to go to help defray the cost
of installing and maintaining enhanced 911 service across the country.
Called, 'The 911 Chatline,' it allows callers to choose an area of the
country, and to listen to 911 emergency calls from it.

When asked what prompted this unusual foray into the 900 business,
Century spokeswoman Fawn Lebowitz said, "In recent years we've seen a
dramatic increase in the popularity of reality-based television
shows. The 911 Chatline allows callers to experience real-life drama
while it is going on, all from the comfort of their own home."

While listening to the emergency calls going through, callers to the
Chatline have a number of options. They can listen to just the 911
calls for the area they select, switch their call to a different area,
or, probably the most interesting option, connect their call to the
'911 Chatline' to discuss the details of the emergencies with each
other as they happen, and before the police have even arrived!

Thanks to new voice recognition software from AT&T, callers do not
even need a touch tone telephone in order to use the service. They can
choose which 911 center to listen to simply by saying the area code
and city that they are interested in listening to calls from. Calls
are directed to the 911 center nearest this location.  

As 911 centers sign up to recieve their share of the profits, they are
connected to the Chatline network.  Century says it has already wired
up over 50 centers, and that it has coverage in most major
metropolitan areas. They plan to have the whole nation wired by April,

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Probably by April 1, 1995 ... Readers,
take care and think it over before writing me in response to this one.
I guess by now everyone has heard about the infamous magazine article
this past week which talked about new FCC regulations which '...ban
speeding on on the Information Highway or driving on it while under
the influence of drugs or intoxicating liquors ... and which ban any
discussion of sexual matters using networks connected to the Information
Highway ...' A reference number was given and there have actually been
a large number of angry calls to Senators and others in Washington, DC.
April 1 always brings these things to the net.   PAT]