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Very interesting COCOT's I played with


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#1 Royal

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 10:18 PM

It's been a while since I've posted something on here so here's something I think you all will find interesting. And to keep you reading, I'll tell you now that redboxing is involved in this COCOT related post.....

I went on a trip to New York City with someone this weekend to meet up with a few people in the scene. On the drive back we stopped by a rest stop in Connecticut with a McDonald's, including other areas in the building with vending machines and a couple COCOT's. So I go over to the COCOT's and start playing around with them like I always do. The logo on the payphones were for SBC/AT&T (you know, "The New AT&T"), and sure enough that's what the firmware directed your call to when you attempted to call an operator by dialing 0 or 00.

So many things are restricted from both the COCOT as well as the line itself. If you try to dial a 101-XXXX style Carrier Access Code (CAC), followed by 0, you get an intercept. Therefore op-diverting "the easy way" with AT&T's 1010288 + 0 isn't possible. I don't remember if I was able to get the operator to transfer me to another carrier's operator services, more specifically AT&T's, but if that was possible it would be a way to get AT&T's operator services on the line to op-divert through them. I also dialed a domestic phone number, waited to hear the amount to deposit, inserted the necessary amount of coins, and listened to see if I could hear what was going on in the background, but everything was much to faint to tell. However I did detect the sound of redbox tones, but I thought nothing of it and hung up in time to get my coins back before the call could supervise.

So while I'm dialing all of this I went to hang up, and normally I just quickly tap the switchhook because the firmware usually keeps the line on-hook for a few seconds automatically when the switchhook is pressed in, but that didn't seem to happen this time, and I noticed myself still connected to my party! Immediately I held in the switchhook for a few, got a new dialtone, and started tapping the switchhook rapidly with my finger, and sure enough I broke the dialtone! I tried this method of dialing to call various phone numbers without the firmware getting involved but everytime I got an intercept; boy was this line restricted! I tried tapping 1167 (rotary style of *67 for blocking your Caller-ID), and I got a stutter dialtone! I dialed toll-free numbers and got connected! So now I had one way of bypassing the firmware!

By now I was determined to find more. My mind felt like it was working with a Verizon hybrid (Connecticut is in Verizon territory by the way). I got a new dialtone and blew into the mouthpiece, and wouldn't you know it, I heard myself blowing in my ear and got very excited :D ; the handset's mouthpiece wasn't muted! I immediately whipped it out.... my tone dialer of course, and started dialing away, free from any firmware that could get in my way. I scanned common Vertical Service Codes (*XX/11XX), and a lot of the times I would get an intercept that would tell me the code I entered was not yet programmed! *67 worked fine, and I don't remember if I tried *82 but I assume that works fine as well. CAC's still got restrcited so it was definitely the line preventing access to other carriers that way.

Finally, I decided to dial 411. I shit my pants when I heard what came on the line..... a Verizon ACTS prompt!!! I couldn't believe it, a COCOT giving me ACTS; no wonder I heard the COCOT playing those tones in the background; it all made sense. One problem though; the sound quality through the mouthpiece of both COCOT's was too distorted for the tones to be decent enough for ACTS to recognize if I was to use a redbox. I became curious of the class of service of these lines; maybe they weren't on COCOT lines at all, but instead ACTS lines. So I called Strom Carlson's ANI II Digits reading ANAC at 1-877-TADA-LOL, only to find out it was still down (thanks Strom -_- ). Finally I walked back to the car and we headed back on the highway back home again.

There's a few things I wish I had done. First of all, I should have tried calling a regional-toll number, both with and without the COCOT's firmware being involved, to see if I'd get Verizon's ACTS that way as well. The second thing I should have done was see if the local operator would accept coins as a method of payment. Lastly, I should have looked up a number in 411 directory assistance and then see if I would have been able press option 1 to hear the amount to deposit, just like on Verizon BOCOT/hybrid payphones, in which case the ACTS prompt comes on the line. Oh well, until next time.....
Happy Trails!

#2 Strom Carlson

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 11:26 PM

If you're in Connecticut, the dominant ILEC of record is Southern New England Telephone (SNET, bought by SBC and now part of AT&T Inc.); any Verizon territory you're in is former GTE territory, not former Bell System territory.

One thing I've noticed is that my Protel COCOT actually does give you the line's real dial tone when you go off-hook for the first time, so what you're describing doesn't strike me as all that bizarre.

#3 Royal

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 03:03 AM

If you're in Connecticut, the dominant ILEC of record is Southern New England Telephone (SNET, bought by SBC and now part of AT&T Inc.); any Verizon territory you're in is former GTE territory, not former Bell System territory.

One thing I've noticed is that my Protel COCOT actually does give you the line's real dial tone when you go off-hook for the first time, so what you're describing doesn't strike me as all that bizarre.

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I thought that Verizon territories on the East Coast here were formerly Bell Atlantic, and on the West Coast formerly GTE. Also, I thought I saw Verizon BOCOT's/hybrids around Connecticut, but maybe I was mistaking it with Rhode Island; afterall I was on the highway a long time; I suppose I could have made an assumption of the Telco territory I was in being near Massachusetts and Rhose Island.

Though I do recall seeing a SNET logo somewhere, possibly also on these COCOT's I'm talking about in Connecticut; I did, afterall, see the SBC/AT&T logo, which you say is affiliated with SNET. I don't suppose these could have been half breeds on ACTS lines. In Las Vegas, Sprint territory, I only saw Millenium payphones, though I never actually tested to see if they communicate with ACTS, or if they had ANI II Digits '27'. I remember Lucky225 telling me about the half breeds in California's Verizon territory acting like COCOT's but running on ACTS lines, and therefore, giving ACTS prompts, with ANI II '27' for class of service. Do you not see in any of your resources Connecticut having a Verizon territory? Also, what ever happened to your 1-877-TADA-LOL ANAC? That was a very helpful tool, and the only known one for determing flex-ANI. I remember it being up for a little while but reading the data backwards with a zero (0) included without value.

As for getting a real dialtone on a Protel COCOT like the one you have, I must ask you, does the firmware cut off the CO dialtone as you dial, much like hybrids do? If so then it all makes sense; COCOT's don't always give you a generated dialtone. I've wondered that for some time after manipulating many COCOT's to dial 980 (the switch code to disable a line for a short amount of time) on the CO dialtone, in which afterwards the COCOT would not give me a generated dialtone after going on-hook then off-hook again until the actual line's power and dialtone was returned. I suppose another way to tell if it is a generated dialtone is if you hear the dialtone IMMEDIATELY (I mean very fast) upon picking up the receiver. Alright I'm done, care to help me out? Anyone?

Edited by Royal, 17 March 2006 - 03:15 AM.


#4 Strom Carlson

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 12:55 PM

If you're in Connecticut, the dominant ILEC of record is Southern New England Telephone (SNET, bought by SBC and now part of AT&T Inc.); any Verizon territory you're in is former GTE territory, not former Bell System territory.

One thing I've noticed is that my Protel COCOT actually does give you the line's real dial tone when you go off-hook for the first time, so what you're describing doesn't strike me as all that bizarre.

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I thought that Verizon territories on the East Coast here were formerly Bell Atlantic, and on the West Coast formerly GTE. Also, I thought I saw Verizon BOCOT's/hybrids around Connecticut, but maybe I was mistaking it with Rhode Island; afterall I was on the highway a long time; I suppose I could have made an assumption of the Telco territory I was in being near Massachusetts and Rhose Island.

Nope; GTE was all over the place - Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and pretty much anywhere else you can think of. In fact, GTE was based out of Stamford for quite a large chunk of its history.

  Though I do recall seeing a SNET logo somewhere, possibly also on these COCOT's I'm talking about in Connecticut; I did, afterall, see the SBC/AT&T logo, which you say is affiliated with SNET.

It's way more than an affiliation; SBC actually bought up SNET in the 90s.

In Las Vegas, Sprint territory, I only saw Millenium payphones, though I never actually tested to see if they communicate with ACTS, or if they had ANI II Digits '27'.

There is no ACTS in Vegas - everything is on a type 70 line. I attempted to find out whether the Las Vegas tandem had ACTS capability by driving to Pahrump - listen to the Pahrump recording for more information about coin phones in that LATA.


Also, what ever happened to your 1-877-TADA-LOL ANAC?  That was a very helpful tool, and the only known one for determing flex-ANI.  I remember it being up for a little while but reading the data backwards with a zero (0) included without value.

I cut it off because for some reason I can't pass audio without supervising, and it was costing me too much money to run the number with all the coin phone surcharges. Once I get the no-supervision thing going again, it'll be back up.

As for getting a real dialtone on a Protel COCOT like the one you have, I must ask you, does the firmware cut off the CO dialtone as you dial, much like hybrids do?  If so then it all makes sense; COCOT's don't always give you a generated dialtone.  I've wondered that for some time after manipulating many COCOT's to dial 980 (the switch code to disable a line for a short amount of time) on the CO dialtone, in which afterwards the COCOT would not give me a generated dialtone after going on-hook then off-hook again until the actual line's power and dialtone was returned.  I suppose another way to tell if it is a generated dialtone is if you hear the dialtone IMMEDIATELY (I mean very fast) upon picking up the receiver.  Alright I'm done, care to help me out?  Anyone?

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Once I get my Protel back in full working order (i.e. on a line and programmed) I will likely make a recording explaining how it works. In the meantime, I should probably get around to narrating my TOPS recording from nine months ago! :)

#5 Royal

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 05:14 PM

I guess the only thing left for me to wonder is if these "COCOT's" were half breeds running on ACTS lines (with ANI II '27'). I'll have to revisit the area next time I'm on Interstate 95 going through Connecticut.




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