Definitions

the 4-1-1

4-1-1

[fawr-wuhn-wuhn]

This article discusses the telephone directory number 411. For the year 411, see 411. For other uses of 411, see 411 (disambiguation)

For decades, most of the United States and Canada has used 4-1-1 as the telephone number for local directory assistance. One notable exception is the Pacific Northwest, which used 1-1-3 until the mid-1980s. Up until the early 1980s, 411 calls used to be free in most states.

In recent years, 4-1-1 has also been used for long distance directory assistance in most areas in the United States and all of Canada. The traditional long distance directory assistance number is 1-area code-555-1212.

411 is also commonly referred to as "DA" - "Directory Assistance" or "Information".

Approximately 6 billion calls are made to 411 within the United States each year.

Landline telephone companies further breakdown DA into three rate classes

  1. 411 LDA - Local Directory Assistance. This is where you dial 411 and request the Operator to search for a listing in a group of area codes "LATA" local to you. Example: you live in area code 630 (Oak Brook, Illinois) and request a listing for a business in area code 312 (Chicago, Illinois). In this case AT&T Illinois bills the call at $1.25 plus taxes.
  2. 411 NDA - National Directory Assistance. This is where you dial 411 and request the Operator to search for a listing in an area code not local to you. Example: you live in area code 630 (Oak Brook, Illinois) and request a listing for a business in area code 213 (Los Angeles, California). In this case AT&T Illinois bills the call at $1.99 plus taxes.
  3. 411 (AC)-555-1212 - National Directory Assistance. This example assumes you are in Oak Brook, Illinois (AC 630) and you have MCI as your Long Distance Carrier. Example: you are looking for a listing in Los Angeles, California (AC 213) and dial 213-555-1212. In this case MCI bills the call at $3.49 plus taxes.

The telephone companies have another DA rate class for call completion - DACC. DACC can add another $.50 to $1.00 on top of the cost of a DA call.

Landline telephone directory assistance

411 land line service is generally provided by a local telephone company. Since deregulation, the price of using 411 has increased to an average of $1.25 USD in the U.S., compared to $0.50 CAD in most of Canada.

Wireless telephone directory

In addition to the local and long distance directory services, there is also consumer-choice and privacy-protected "Wireless 411 Service". As specified by the industry, the service will give consumers the choice of including their wireless phone numbers in voice 411. Consumers who choose to opt-in will not have their information disclosed for print, online directories, lists, or telemarketing firms. The service will allow any landline or a wireless phone user to call 411 and be connected to the wireless listing of a person who has chosen to participate in the service. Carriers who make up the industry LLC creating the service include Alltel, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile.

References

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