To preserve and share the history, technology and information on one of the first consumer used communication networks
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A library of Payphone
Operating sounds and recordings
What is a COCOT Payphone?
COCOT is an acronym for Customer Owned Coin Operated Telephone. A COCOT is a payphone which is not owned or operated by a phone company. COCOT phones operate differently than a telephone company payphone as they do not run on a coin line. The old fortress phones used by the Bell Systems worked off of a coin line which was controlled by a central office. This allowed telephone operators to monitor and control the payphones, the operators could allow or disallow phone calls from the payphone. The COCOT phone was a outcome of the divestiture of AT&T in 1984 which allowed competition into the telephone industry. With this divestiture or breakup of AT&T Payphones were now allowed to be owned and operated by other companies then MA Bell. COCOT payphones have an onboard computer or Smart Board which is programmed by the owner/operator to charge a set amount based on the area code or Rate Band a user is calling. As this technology became more robust many phone companies started to drop there coin line operated phones and installed conversation kits like the Protel 8000 board. When Verizon finally sold off the last of its payphones to PTS in the fall of 2011 this was the end of coin line operated payphones and today all of the payphones in the United State you see are COCOTS.
What's so smart about them?
SmartBoards do more then just give a dial tone and how much money needs to collected. The board can be programed to charge different amounts based on area code (NPA) or NPA and NXX, credit card or phone card used. It can also switch calls over different long distance carries based on current costs. It can be setup when it should call the reporting server and what to report. The board remembers every call made to what number and how long. The board can be setup to report when it needs repair, when it has been vandalized and when the coin box needs to be replaced plus so much more. So the the name SmartBoard fits them well.
Make sure its grounded
Elcotel Series 5
Intellicall Astratel 2
Good line voltage
Information on AT&T Private & Private Plus Payphones.