TIA's Glossary of Telecommunication Terms

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party line

In telephone systems, an arrangement in which two or more user end instruments, usually telephones, are connected to the same loop. Note: If selective ringing is not used, individual users may be alerted by different ringing signals, such as a different number of rings or a different combination of long and short rings. Party lines remain primarily in rural areas where loops are long. Privacy is limited and congestion often occurs. Synonym multiparty line.

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