Time and Date Phone Service Set to End June 1
Tool from days gone by a redundancy in current era
For a previous generation, getting the time and weather was simply a phone call away. A pleasant-sounding woman—not a computer-generated facsimile—announced the time at the “tone.” In today’s hyper-connected, always-on-the-go world, where information is only a click away, such a notion seems positively quaint. But there are more than few people in the DC metropolitan area who would dispute such a notion. They would say it is absolutely necessary. One of those people is Ginny Kohls of Lorton.
So, when Verizon announced that, effective June 1, they will be discontinuing their phone-based time and weather service, Kohls was among those who was most disappointed. She’s not the only one. A letter-writing campaign was directed at Verizon and the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, among others. A Facebook page was created for the cause.
Kohls recognizes that there are no shortage of places to get time and weather information, but they aren’t always available, especially in a time of need. “It’s very helpful when there is a power outage and I have to reset my clocks,” she said.
Other groups of people build their day around the announcement, including one of Kohls’ friends, who is blind. “She determines what clothes she needs and what things she can get done during the day based on the Verizon service,” Kohls said.
Harry Mitchell, Director of Public Relations for Verizon, said that the company understands that some people have grown accustomed to the service, but that the way information is accessed has changed dramatically since the service was initiated decades ago. “We have given folks several months notice in order for them to take advantage of the multiple alternatives that are available to them,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell also noted that District of Columbia is one of only three metro areas to still receive the service. Pennsylvania and the rest of Virginia were discontinued in 2008 and 2006, respectively.
With less than a week left before the service is scheduled to stop, it is one that will be missed, not only for the information it provides. “The voice on the line is so upbeat and positive,” Kohls said. “It’s a great way to start your day.”
When calling the time (703.844.2525) and weather (703.936.1212) numbers, listeners are advised that the service will be ending on June 1. Here is list of places to receive the same information:
Patch – Each morning we publish the weather forecast. Here is today’s. And the time is usually on the bottom right corner of your computer screen.
- Cable television stations such as The Weather Channel, as well as cable news and weather forecasts.
- The National Weather Service (available on radio and television, the Internet and dial-in information services)
- U.S. Naval Observatory Dial-in Service- 202.762.1069
- Digital Time for Modems- 202.762.1594
- World Wide Web businesses such as timeanddate.com, timetemperature.com, findlocalweather.com, worldtimeserver.com.