Novelty PSTN Party Line Conference January 2021


On the late afternoon of Friday January 8, 2021, I saw a post on the Facebook group “AT&T Long Lines” from Dylan Cruz, the co-founder of the group Novelty Public Switched Telephone Network (also known as the Northern Pacific Switched Telecommunications Network or NPSTN) about a conference call system that was set to mimic the impromptu conference calls that occurred when a broken announcement machine allowed for multiple people to accidentally find each other on a conference call bridge. This is to recreate the experience that Evan Doorbell found from finding these “conference bridges” just by accident during is many travels while exploring the telephone network. Though the NPSTN folks have been doing this for a while now, a larger audience found about them due to the publicity and joined in on the fun.

These recordings were made on the evening of Friday January 8, 2021. Dylan set this up to mimic one of the Hempstead, NY conference calls where upon entering the conference the callers on the conference would here Multi-Frequency (MF) tones. When a caller leaves, you would hear a 2600 Hz supervision chirp. All of this is playing over a recording of an old style reorder (fast busy) tone. This is all being done using a carrier grade soft switch.

As the information spread throughout social media (Facebook and Twitter) on Friday evening, people started joining the conference. As with anything like this, at times this got a little bit crazy, and some people were not as nice as they could have been (shall I say…). But in all, we had a fun time. Even Evan Doorbell (who inspired all of this with his Telephone Tapes) even joined us for a while!




Here are the recordings that I made on Friday evening. They are fairly long, so feel free to download and listen using the MP3 player of your choice. Right click to download, or left click to listen in your browser.

MP3 #1 (28 Minutes)

MP3 #2 (1 hour 27 minutes)

MP3 #3 (11 minutes)

MP3 #4 (1 hour 18 minutes)

As of Saturday January 9, 2021 the service is still up and running.