9Phone 9numbers

Well, today it happens – all phone numbers in my little part of the world, Melbourne, grow by a digit. A nine in front of every one. The government’s communications authority, Austel, claim it’s all to allow more phones, better services – all the usual stuff that Austel usually claim.

But is that the real reason? I’ve uncovered a plot by major telephone manufacturers to lobby to have phone numbers made longer, so that the buttons on their phones wear out sooner, and have to be replaced. If the average family makes two calls a day, and instead of dialling a 7 digit local number, dials 8 digits, that’s 730 extra buttons pressed on that family’s phone in one year. And they’re almost all "9". Will our telephones stand up to that sort of treatment? Time will tell.

I don’t really mind, actually. I just think it’s a shame that our home phone number, which at the moment is nearly symmetrical, and very easy to remember, will have these qualities shattered by adding a 9. Oh well. At least it’s given me a chance to make a new answering machine message. And maybe we’ll stop getting calls for the video rental place.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.