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Five Milestones that Changed the Way We Use the Telephone

Close up of a Victorian style telephone dial

How we make local telephone calls in Saskatchewan changed in 2013 with the introduction of 10-digit dialing and a new area code (639).

It's not the first time that how we make telephone calls has changed.

Five Milestones that Changed the Way We Use the Telephone

1. Regina had the first two telephone systems in Saskatchewan in operation by 1882-83

2. By 1908, only 300 farms in Saskatchewan had telephones compared to over 2000 in urban areas. The Rural Telephones Act passed that year permitted telephone companies to be set up in rural areas with help from the government, speeding up the spread of telephones across the province.

3. For many decades, households in Saskatchewan shared a “party line” with their neighbours. Each family had its own unique ring. Some rural areas did not get individual phone line service until 1990.

4. Direct Distance Dialing eliminated the need for long distance telephone operators to place station-to-station calls. Regina and Saskatoon received this service in 1964.

5. In 1989, the first cell phones were introduced, allowing people to make calls to other people rather than to places

Visit SaskTel's website to learn more about the change to 10-digit dialing.

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