TELCO types, I have a question

So, I figure someone out there knows the answer to this, and I’ll share my guess, but I can’t find an answer on the internet.

My Question: Why does my cell phone ignore (or add) a “1” with a phone call, but my POTS* line phone doesn’t. Not only does it not just ignore unnecessary “1”s, it makes the annoying tri-tone and tells me it’s not necessary to dial a 1.

Well, if you know it’s not necessary, why not ignore it and put the call through?


My guess: the equipment being used is so old it cannot be taught new ticks, but I’d be interested in an informed answer.

*Plain Old Telephone System (I found this when getting my first DSL line).


  1. Melissa (oddharmonic) says:

    Dialing 1 to begin a direct-dialed toll call is a remnant from electromechanical switching systems, so it’s not really an equipment issue anymore. A few salient data points:

    – Many switches support 1+ permissive dialing so a long-distance call will go through regardless of whether it is preceded by a 1. Pre-Bell breakup incumbent carriers have to follow more stringent FCC requirements, so a CLEC (XO, Level 3, Broadview, etc.) is more likely to have 1+ permissive dialing than an ILEC (AT&T, BellSouth, CenturyLink).

    – Individual states (e.g., California) can require callers to dial a 1 before the 10-digit number for a long-distance call.

    tl;dr: Blame FCC regulations. And California.