General Question

ariwriter's avatar

What year could you buy a home telephone at a store?

Asked by ariwriter (63points) July 24th, 2008

For many decades, the Ma Bell System provided telephone service and telephones themselves to households in exchange for user fees.

I’m having trouble locating an approximate year that telephones could be bought in stores. Was it as late as the divestiture in 1984? I thought it would be 1950s. Anyone know or remember?

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3 Answers

iJimmy's avatar

This site says late 70s.

marinelife's avatar

No, it was earlier. Here is the citation:

In June of 1968, FCC ruled that customer provided equipment could be connected to the telephone company’s lines. Prior to this you were not permitted to connect equipment of any sort to your telephone line. You could go down to you Radio Shack store and buy a telephone set, but you couldn’t legally install it in your house.

ariwriter's avatar

Hmm, this is great. Wikipedia has numerous links about the FCC ruling regarding Tom Carter and his phone contraption. Cool, thanks!

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