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The Switch is a telephone network component that connects your phone line with another line to establish a telephone call. Early telephone technology relied on human operators on very large switchboards to provide manual switching services. Current Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology uses virtual or digital switches to connect phones over the Internet.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
switch (noun)
a slender flexible whip, rod, or twig - a riding switch
an act of as - switching
a) a blow with a switch
b) a shift from one to another
c) a change from the usual - that outfit is a switch
a tuft of long hairs at the end of the tail of an animal (as a cow) - see cow illustration
a device made usually of two movable rails and necessary connections and designed to turn a locomotive or train from one track to another
a device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electrical circuit
a heavy strand of hair used in addition to a person's own hair for some coiffures
switch (verb)
transitive verb
to strike or beat with or as if with a switch
- whisk lash a cat switching its tail
a) (1) to turn from one railroad track to another - shunt
(2) to move (cars) to different positions on the same track within terminal areas
b) to make a shift in or exchange of - switch seats
a) to shift to another electrical circuit by means of a switch
b) (1) to operate an electrical switch so as to turn (as a device) on or off - usually used with on or off
intransitive verb
(2) to change to or from an active state - usually used with on or off switched on the gene
to lash from side to side
to make a shift or exchange
Telephone_exchange (Wikipedia)
A telephone operator manually connecting calls with cord pairs at a telephone switchboard.
A modern central office, equipped with voice communication and broadband data capabilities

A telephone exchange or telephone switch is a telecommunications system used in the public switched telephone network or in large enterprises. It interconnects telephone subscriber lines or virtual circuits of digital systems to establish telephone calls between subscribers.

In historical perspective, telecommunication terms have been used with different semantics over time. The term telephone exchange is often used synonymously with central office, a Bell System term. Often, a central office is defined as a building used to house the inside plant equipment of potentially several telephone exchanges, each serving a certain geographical area. Such an area has also been referred to as the exchange or exchange area. In North America, a central office location may also be identified as a wire center, designating a facility from which a telephone obtains dial tone. For business and billing purposes, telephony carriers define rate centers, which in larger cities may be clusters of central offices, to define specified geographical locations for determining distance measurements.

In the United States and Canada, the Bell System established in the 1940s a uniform system of identifying central offices with a three-digit central office code, that was used as a prefix to subscriber telephone numbers. All central offices within a larger region, typically aggregated by state, were assigned a common numbering plan area code. With the development of international and transoceanic telephone trunks, especially driven by direct customer dialing, similar efforts of systematic organization of the telephone networks occurred in many countries in the mid-20th century.

For corporate or enterprise use, a private telephone exchange is often referred to as a private branch exchange (PBX), when it has connections to the public switched telephone network. A PBX is installed in enterprise facilities, typically near large office spaces or within an organizational campus to serve the organization's telephones and any private leased line circuits. Smaller installations might deploy a PBX or key telephone system in the office of a receptionist.

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