You know how you can call 411 and get information? Well those days are numbered.
AT&T announced that they are going to end that service for digital landlines. I'm not sure about non-digital or Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) lines. They are also going to end operator service.
Apparently they already ended 411 and operator calls for their cell service. The other major carriers still have this service - obviously there is still a fee for it.
The reason they give for ending the home service - people can just look it up online.
The most telling statistic is this: In the 1970s, at the peak, there were about 420,000 telephone operators. In 2021 there were just 4,000 operators left. When I was a kid, I remember talking to an operator to place a collect call. I'm not even sure if you can do that anymore.
I remember sometime in the 1990s long distance was included with mobile service.
Look how complicated it was and how many people were involved in placing a long distance call back in the 1950s!
Photo credit: AFP