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The uniqueness requirement is not so stringent in nonautomated networks. There may still be postal arrangements in various locales where a workable address would be 'give this to Bob Smith.' There may be many different Bob Smiths in the world, but a human delivery agent who is sensitive to context may still be able to deliver the message effectively.
The telephone system used to know the difference between an area code and any other part of the number, because area codes took the form NZN, where N is any number from 2 to 9, and Z is either 1 or 0. That syntax restricted the number of available area codes. Now area codes take the form NXX, and one must dial 1 to get into the toll network.
The new codes are 888, 877, 866, and 855.
FCC CC Docket No. 95-155 Toll Free Service Access Codes, Fourth Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order. Adopted: March 27, 1998. Released: March 31, 1998. Paragraph 7: 'Although we recognize commenters' concerns regarding trademark infringement and unfair competition, we find that those issues properly should be addressed by the courts under the trademark protection and unfair competition laws, rather than by the Commission.'
I prefer to speak of 'switching costs' rather than 'lock-in' because the latter is less precise and somewhat judgmental. 'Switching costs' connotes that there are costs associated with change. In some cases these costs are extremely high, in other cases they are not. 'Lock-in' implies that switching is impossible. But businesses incur substantial switching costs all the time. Office headquarters are moved to new addresses, resulting in new phone numbers and new stationery, and generating significant short-term expenses such as confusion and moving expenses. The presence of these switching costs does not necessarily mean that the business is perpetually locked in to a particular landlord. Even something as central to corporate identity as brand names and corporate logos change. Just recently, for example, telephone company giants Bell Atlantic and GTE adopted an entirely new name, Verizon, following their merger. The costs associated with this change probably run in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
A 1991 FCC order required the industry to make 800 numbers portable by 1993.
EUI designations are trademarked by IEEE. The classical 48-bit address space (known as EUI-48) is being phased out in favor of a new, 64-bit address space known as EUI-64.
IEEE, Registration Authority Committee, Guidelines for 64-bit Global Identifier (EUI-64), and Guidelines for Use of a 48-bit Global Identifier (EUI-48), March 2000.
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