Central Offices: FairPoint- Derry, New Hampshire

Today is my thirtieth birthday (technically I am still twenty nine till 11:10 PM Eastern Time, however the year I was born was with the old DST rules, so technically I won’t be turning 30 till 12:10 tomorrow morning the 13th.)

Regardless I was happening to visit my former stomping ground, where I used to live in the nearby town. I was born in said town thirty years ago, so for kicks we drove the route my grandmother brought my mother to the hospital. And seeing what changed.

Since my last visit in the area, the central office for the Derry area had changed it’s exterior.  It looks like a house to comply with possibly some Planning policies set by the town. It’s nice looking since this central office looked no different than any other generic switching location.

The Derry, NH Central Office has a facelift – it looks like a house in the front. This is home to the 432 and 437 local code from childhood

A post shared by The Museum of Telephony (@themuseumoftelephony) on

This central office supplies many numbers within the towns of Derry, Windham, Londonderry, East Derry, possibly Hampstead. I had Ma Bell service for most of my first couple of decades before I relocated to my current town, of which has their own central office. Because I lived on the fringe of Derry, we were tied to their central office. Prior to 2010, we did not use long distance, since the cell phones would take care of that. It wasn’t discriminatory, so if you dialed a number in towns like Merrimack, Goffstown, Concord, we would get charged ridiculously via FairPoint/Verizon. This is often why so many PBX systems require dialplans to prevent toll calls ether inadvertent or ignorance.

This is obviously outdated as me and my family both have cell phones and broadband services that eliminates the concerns of toll calls.

As described, for most of my life, we had a local code starting with 437, beginning in 1992 when my mother and I moved out from my grandmothers. Surprisingly we moved back the following year and lived for a couple of months before moving out. So the number was disconnected. When she ordered dial tone (NYNEX/New England Tel) that following summer, the number was available and was activated without much heavy lifting.

From 1970 to 1996, my grandparents had obviously a Derry number with 432, it was common in the neighboring town. When she surrendered her leased wall beige 564 telephone; she also dropped the number to let go of some baggage that went along with the number (similar to how I upgraded my iPhone – however my AT&T number had to be ported to Verizon to even begin to drop the number in the first place. This was part of switching carriers at the same time.) On topic, the 437 number was then transferred to my grandmother’s house as we moved back from 96 to the end of 2010.

According to Mike Sandman’s website, the central office is a 5ESS facility, however Verizon bit our behinds and sold it to FairPoint and bankrupted the Northern New England operation and really provides weaker services unlike what Comcast or a broadband provider can.