Category Archives: Vintage Telecom

Best Telecom Easter Egg in a TV Show – Amazon’s “Reacher”

The winner for best telecom Easter egg in a show is – Reacher!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m always on the lookout for real telephone numbers in TV shows and movies. So I was delighted to find five telephony Easter Eggs in the new show “Reacher” on Amazon.

At one point, the police detective holds up a scrap of paper with a real telephone number on it. Of course I paused and called it right away.

I was treated to someone’s voicemail. I was asked to leave a message, but there was no beep and the call hung up. Sure enough – in the next scene we found out who this was, but it allowed us to be one step ahead of the investigation!

Much later, we saw the rest of the note, which contained three more valid numbers!

Each of these numbers ties into the story. Two of them are voiced by characters that never actually make an appearance in the show. Do they get credit for appearing in Reacher? There’s no mention in IMDB.

And finally at the end, we get a tender scene with a telephone number hand-off. This one, like the others, is tantalizingly obviously supposed to be called by us, the viewer.

This time I waited until the end of the show before calling it, and it was like a sweet post-credit scene. Well done, Amazon!

If Amazon changes these scenes, or if they’ve disconnected the numbers by the time you read this, or if you are not in the US and do not want to incur international telecom fees, here is the audio associated with each of these numbers:






The “rate centers” of the telephone numbers match the story line, so someone knew what they were doing. I checked the callerid name for these numbers, and three of them say “SKYDANCE”, which is the name of the production company for Reacher. It appears that Skydance has a great telecommunications consultant on this! Whoever you are, we appreciate you!

On an interesting side note, Amazon has recently released a telecommunications product called Amazon Connect for call centers. From the information I could find, I don’t think these numbers are part of Amazon connect. So Skydance Media is paying some monthly fee to host these numbers somewhere. Hopefully indefinitely.

The carrier associated with three of these numbers match the carrier for the telephone number in Don’t Look Up – ONVOY LLC. It could be Onvoy is a partner of Twilio. Peerless is the carrier for the remaining two. They are also a large business-to-business carrier and likely a partner with Twilio. I only mention Twilio because they’re the go-to place for telephone number hosting. But the telecom team at Skydance could be hosting it themselves – perhaps using this as another point of engagement with their productions. I sure hope so! And perhaps they should let people leave messages so we could express our appreciation!

So, to the Skydance telecom team – we salute you! I’m sure there’s a great story behind this. I’d love to hear it if you’re able to talk about it. If you’re a big telecom geek like me, you’re hoping someone noticed these hidden gems and you’re occasionally searching Google for mention of them. Please respond! We’ve noticed and we’re huge fans!

For reference, and to help the Skydance team find this posting, here’s the public North American Numbering Plan information for these five numbers as of 2022-02-13:

Information about number 12294743308:
LRN: 12298008993
State: GA
Ratecenter: ALBANY
LATA: 444
OCN: 067D
Company: ONVOY, LLC – GA
Prefix_Type: CLEC

Information about number 16465685111:
LRN: 19143509900
State: NY
Ratecenter: CHAPPAQUA
LATA: 132
OCN: 155E
Prefix_Type: CLEC

Information about number 19016540115:
LRN: 19012030000
State: TN
Ratecenter: MEMPHIS
LATA: 468
OCN: 276F
Prefix_Type: CLEC

Information about number 16093372601:
LRN: 18569550993
State: NJ
Ratecenter: CAMDEN
LATA: 222
OCN: 637C
Company: ONVOY, LLC – NJ
Prefix_Type: CLEC

Information about number 12297858132:
LRN: 12299222993
State: GA
Ratecenter: FITZGERALD
LATA: 444
OCN: 067D
Company: ONVOY, LLC – GA
Prefix_Type: CLEC


Vintage Tele-Cost pricing guide for Los Angeles, CA

A friend of mine was cleaning out his father’s garage and found this pricing guide for Los Angeles, CA. Specifically the HIllcrest exchange 213-445, 446, and 447 exchanges. Back in the 1960s, the 213 area code was huge, and the farther you called, the more the call would cost. But the telephone company didn’t charge by miles, or by minutes. They priced the call by “Message Units”. Sometimes the cost of the call could surprise you, so this enterprising company came up with a pricing guide to tell you how many message units it would cost to call around your area. The information was readily available in your telephone book or asking your operator, but Tele-Cost (or TELE-CO$T) presented it in a nice chart to compare the cost of a 3-minute call vs. 5-minute and more. It looks like you could order one for any exchange, but since they were in Temple City, it may have just been a local thing to this area. I cannot find a reference to Tele-Cost anywhere else.

I have always known that exchange “names” were built from the first two numbers of the 7-digit telephone number. But I didn’t realize the Bell System would have multiple exchanges with the first two digits. For example, on the last page of this guide, there’s a list of the letter prefixes. DA-3, 4, 7, and 9 (prefixes 323, 324, 327, and 329) were called “DAvis”, but DA-5 and 6 (prefixes 325 and 326) were called “DAvenport”. I presume if you called the operator and asked for “DAvenport 3″, she might attempt to clarify that you have the right number, since DA-3 is really the”DAvis” exchange.

So this looks to be all of the assigned exchanges in the early 1960s in the 213 area code. Please also note the advertisement for Investors Savings and Loan Association. The telephone numbers for the ofices in Pasadena, Glendora, and East Pasadena are listed with the letter prefixes of SY 5, MU 1, and ED 5.

I would certainly love to hear from you if you have guides like this for your area, or if you stories about using exchange names when you were a kid.