Emergency 911 services first materialized in the United States when the Alabama Telephone Company established the service in the sleepy little town of Haleyville on Feb. 16, 1968. At that time, phone companies knew the installation address and phone number of each and every telephone device, and calls were routed based on this information. While seemingly unsophisticated by today’s standards, at the time, it was considered quite a feat of engineering.
The process remained valid until Sept. 21 of 1983 when the world changed forever. In a historic decision by the Federal Communications Commission, the Motorola 8000X, the world’s first commercially available portable cell phone, was approved for service and personal mobility took on a brand-new meaning. What was the cost of this miraculous technology? For just under $ 4,000, consumers could ‘cut the cord’ that tethered them to the wall — a small price to pay for a device that would revolutionize and redefine telecommunications history.