Thus far, the responsibilities and work in Long Lines have been presented
in broad outline. Behind this outline, of course, are hundreds of separate
activities. Some are large-scale, others are relatively minor. But each is
directed toward providing good service to the customer.
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People--not machines--are the life of the business, and the overriding
concern of the personnel department is to help develop and maintain a
skilled, creative and service-minded group of employees. The need for
good employees is great. Long Lines provides employment opportunities
for qualified men and women, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic origin.
How can we get the people and the skills we will need in the years ahead?
How about training?
Hiring and Training
Answering questions like those is the responsibility of the personnel department.
It gets the answers from studies and analyses it makes to determine
departmental requirements over the long haul.
Long Lines ordinarily hires a substantial number of new employees each
year. Most of them are hired through centralized employment offices.
The offices attract applicants through advertising and personal recruiting,
select the best candidates through a series of interviews, tests and
and refer qualified candidates to the supervisors they are to
Our personnel assessment centers assist in determining managerial potential
in the non-management force. A performance appraisal system aids
managers in administering salary and promotion activities.
Training is closely tied to employment. There are relatively few jobs at
Long Lines that a new employee can tackle successfully without considerable preliminary instruction. Experienced employees, too, need special
training to keep them abreast of technological change and to prepare them
for handling assignments of increasing responsibility.
Training and other activities designed to promote personal growth within
Long Lines are coordinated by personnel department people. They offer
assistance on programs and methods to improve managerial skills and
efficiency within the organization. They also handle certain broad training
and development programs that cut across departmental lines, and assist
people in continuing their education through a tuition aid plan.
Wages and Working Practices
Good pay, a good place to work and challenging jobs are essential to
and keeping able people.
Long Lines' wage policy can be summed up simply: to provide wages
that compare favorably with those paid people with similar skills in a given
A group concerned with wage practices makes continuing studies of wage
and salary rates in other telephone companies and outside industries. From
these studies come recommendations for basic wage and salary rates for
Long Lines people. Revisions are worked out when needed to keep wage
rates and practices in proper balance with other companies.
The wage practices group assists in establishing job titles and
and in forming organizational structures in the various departments.
It also acts as adviser to other departments on wage and salary
Employees are equally interested in working practices that apply to their
jobs. Work schedules, differentials, vacations and holidays are some of the
important considerations that make Long Lines a good place to work. The
labor relations group surveys trends in the working practices of businesses
in general to help keep us in favorable relationship with other companies
in the communities where we operate.
The labor relations manager is the contact for the national office of the
labor union representing non-management employees. He represents Long
Lines in negotiations on union grievances at the national level and in other
labor matters that are not satisfactorily solved at lower levels.
In contract negotiations between Long Lines and the union, the labor
relations manager serves as chairman of the company bargaining team.
One measure of a good place to work is the so-called fringe benefit
a business offers its employees. In Long Lines the package contains
benefits and protection on a large scale.
One of the most significant parts of the package is the Benefit and Pension
Plan, which has the formal title, "Plan for Employees' Pensions, Disability
Benefits and Death Benefits." The plan has four main provisions. They
Wages or disability payments when an eligible employee is unable
work due to illness or injury.
Payments to eligible dependents of deceased employees.
Pensions for eligible employees retiring because of age or ill health.
Pensions paid under a "survivor's option" arrangement to surviving
spouse after age 55 or to parent.
In most cases, the amount of benefits increases with length of service of
the employee. Death benefits, however, are tied to wages rather than
length of service.
Some 5,000 retired Long Lines employees are receiving regular pension
payments. The company pays well over $1.5 million a month into a trust
fund to insure continued payment of those pensions--and pensions for
employees who will retire in the future.
Other plans for employee welfare have to do with health and life insurance.
They include a Basic Medical Expense Plan (BME), Extraordinary Medical
Expense Plan (EME), group life insurance plans and a Special Medical
Expense Plan (SME) to supplement Medicare coverage for those over
The Long Lines Benefit Committee meets each week to review and act on
individual cases that come under the Benefit and Pension Plan. The written
provisions of the Plan spell out in detail how the majority of cases are to
be handled; for others, the committee can use its discretion. In needy cases,
the committee may authorize certain benefit payments not specifically
covered by the Plan.
The health of Long Lines employees is the concern of the chief medical
officer. His job is to help conserve, improve and maintain their health
-- both physical and emotional.
He acts as an adviser on cases before the Benefit Committee and on other
medical matters. This includes suggestions on planning the work environment,
and medical treatment of employees.
In the New York Headquarters building and in the headquarters of each of
the Areas, Long Lines maintains a medical office where employees can be
examined medically and get general medical advice. Elsewhere, arrangements
have been made with the associated companies to help handle medical
concerns of Long Lines.
Building and Office Services
The people concerned with building and office services help assure the
smooth management and operation of offices throughout Long Lines.
At headquarters in New York City, the building service group handles
allocation of administrative office space, conference arrangements,
and hotel reservations. It also coordinates the quarterly estimate
for office equipment at headquarters and the standardization and ordering
of those items.
The office service group furnishes headquarters with drafting, duplicating,
typing and messenger services. For Long Lines as a whole, it prepares
organization charts, develops procedures for management of records, sets
standards for office supplies and coordinates the operation of our internal
Marketing Long Distance Services
Communications services are essential to the effective management of
The Long Lines field sales forces, working closely with associated company salesmen, specialize in the sale of intercity communications services.
Located in many cities throughout the country, they determine the
system best suited to each customer. After the sale, they keep
a watchful eye on installation progress. Once the service is in operation,
they check to see that it meets the customer's needs and is being used
In no case do the salesmen promote the sale of service unless they believe
the customer is going to obtain added value. The reason is simple. We can't
succeed unless the customer profits. A dollar spent by him must return
him a dollar or more of benefits.
The marketing people at headquarters in New York City support the sales
force through the development, pricing and promotion of service offerings.
Between headquarters and the field flows an exchange of ideas that not
only enables Long Lines to keep abreast of changing communication requirements
but also, in many cases, to anticipate them.
Support for the Sales Force
The general sales manager at Long Lines headquarters is responsible for
guiding the promotion of intercity communications services, and, in
with other Long Lines departments and the associated companies,
for developing sales goals and policies. Goals are met and policies
implemented through the concerted efforts of headquarters specialists in
product promotion, business services, intercompany services coordination,
national account management, and specific industry needs.
Development of a first-rate sales force depends to a large degree on an
intensive, well-directed training program. Long Lines and other Bell company
salesmen receive a thorough grounding both in the technical features
of service offerings--many of which are quite complex--and in the techniques
of selling. And they are supplied with a wide variety of sales aids-brochures,
case histories, industry news items, and a host of reference
material that is continually revised to keep up with the expanding list of
communications services we offer.
In the area of methods and results, particular attention is given to
efficient management of sales offices and to measuring the effectiveness
of the overall selling job.
Still another responsibility is planning communications for Bell System
administrative use. One internal account manager at headquarters devises
ways for transmitting the huge amount of information needed at Long
Lines offices across the country. Another works with his counterparts in the
Bell companies to map out communications arrangements for inter-company
administrative traffic throughout the Bell System.
Development and the Long View
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Determining whether our services are satisfactory to the users--in quality,
in performance and in the type and quantity of facilities--is the concern of
the general marketing manager. His group also looks ahead to determine
our customers' future service needs. As in other phases of marketing, these
tasks call for careful coordination and teamwork between staff groups in
New York City, sales forces in the Areas, the marketing people at AT&T
headquarters, and groups in other Bell units.
Development of regular long distance message telephone service is of
prime importance since this accounts for the major share of Long Lines
revenues. With the aid of a continuing study of usage-which the accounting
department prepares by different kinds of businesses, by residence customers
and by geographical areas--marketing and sales people get a picture
of trends helpful in developing new uses of this service. Besides many new
applications in people-to-people communications, the regular long distance
network also carries vast quantities of data.
In the private line field, development means new types of services as well
as expanding and tailoring existing services to the individual specifications
of different customers. Private line development stems from three main sources: direct requests from customers, suggestions from the field sales
force, and continuing market research by the headquarters staff. Both field
and headquarters people help to assess the market potential for any new
interstate service being considered for development. In some cases,
are made for a group of customers to use a proposed service on a
trial basis to see how it meets their needs and whether changes should be
made before final development. That kind of pretesting helps determine
if a new service is likely to have broad application and acceptance.
Besides planning over a relatively short period, the general marketing manager
and his group look far into the future. They make forecasts to get a
broad picture of what conditions will be like ten to fifteen years ahead.
These forecasts cover quite a bit of ground. Among other things, they
project growth and distribution of population, economic and political
climate, and competitive factors. They also predict how technological advances
will change the way our customers run their businesses--something
of particular interest to us since that means changes in the kind of
they will need.
Forecasts and continuing analyses marketing people make of the type
and volume of interstate communications serve another important purpose.
They give advance notice of what facilities will be required and what revenues
can be expected. That, in turn, helps management plan and direct
Long Lines operations.
The Right Price
Each new service, of course, must have a price tag. Developing these
--more commonly known as rates--is the responsibility of a group headed
by the administrator of rates and tariffs.
The job is complex, requiring judgment and foresight. Among the factors
that must be balanced in working out the right rates are: making them
attractive to customers; promoting greater use of service; and encouraging
efficient use of plant. Equally important is the need to meet overall revenue
requirements; revenues from each principal category of service should
cover the cost of furnishing that service--including a return on related
investment--and contribute to overall interstate earnings. Then, too, certain
marketing factors must be considered, such as alternative Bell System
services and competitive services offered by non-Bell organizations.
New rates are filed with the Federal Communications Commission in a
document called a tariff. This is a legal document that sets forth charges
and regulations that apply to a service offering.
The group also is responsible for rates for overseas and international
In handling that part of the job, it works closely with the Long Lines
departments concerned with international services and overseas operations.
In addition, it participates in the proceedings of organizations like the
International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT),
which is a subgroup of the International Telecommunications Union (affiliated
with the United Nations) that sets standards and promotes worldwide
cooperation in communications matters.
Engineering the Plant
To meet the growing needs of customers, we spend several hundred millions
of dollars each year for new long distance facilities.
Planning, building and getting plant into service is the responsibility of
people in the engineering department. It is their job to come up with
that provide good service and are economical and practical.
Most of that work is done by engineering groups in the Areas. At headquarters,
the engineering organization is largely concerned with long-range
planning and with developing engineering methods and programs. It gives
advice and assistance to the Area groups and obtains construction permits
and radio licenses required for radio relay routes. It also coordinates all
phases of the construction program.
What Kind and Where?
"What kind of plant will be needed-when, where and how much?" That is
the question that concerns engineering's plant extension branch.
It converts forecasts of future demands for service (prepared by sales,
and government communications groups) into facility needs. It then determines
the particular types of facilities and equipment--cable routes, radio relay routes, satellite circuits, testing apparatus, building space and so
will be needed to provide the necessary long distance communication
channels. Local switching equipment, most customer terminal devices and
some line facilities are furnished by the associated companies. But Long
Lines engineers must first tell them what will be needed for our services.
In deciding what kinds of facilities to provide, plant extension pays
close attention to cost. It weighs the pros and cons of various systems in the
light of operational efficiency, quality of service and diversity of plant. A
number of separate plans are worked out and the best overall system
selected. Because of the time span separating engineering from actual
plans must be developed at least two to three years in advance.
On some facilities, plant extension people look ahead as much as ten years
to take advantage of operating techniques and facilities still "on the drawing
Once basic routes and systems have been selected, the next step is to determine
how many and what kinds of circuits these facilities will carry; then
the type and amount of equipment needed for each kind of circuit is specified.
The Inside Job
A plant design group carries the engineering job a step further. It
specifications for inside plant-the equipment and space each office will
need to accommodate the new communications channels.
Besides serving as a blueprint for new inside facilities, those specifications
are the basis for cost estimates used for overall financial planning and programming.
When equipment is installed, the plant design group oversees
expenses to make sure they are in reasonable relationship to the original
The group takes the cost of floor space into account when working out
equipment design details. One important consideration is that each office
must have space for emergency power to insure continuity of service in the
event of commercial power failure.
Since a tremendous amount of money is involved in the construction of new
facilities, the design people are particularly careful in scheduling delivery
of equipment. Delivery schedules must match the schedules for acquiring
space and for installation to avoid tying up money in non-productive plant.
Building Outside Plant
The work of the plant construction branch is similar to that of the design
group except that it concentrates on outside plant-such items as:
cable.., radio relay towers, buildings and access roads.
It assembles the routes selected by plant extension people into a detailed
plan. Contracts are then made with property owners along the route to obtain
easements or grants of access that will make it possible to start construction
Surveys are the next step. Where cable is to be installed, many test-holes
are dug to determine what the subsoil is like and to get a preliminary cost
estimate. Contract bids are obtained for trench digging and cable laying
work. The bids suggest the financing needed for that part of the project.
In paving the way for a new radio relay route, property is purchased for
tower sites and for buildings to house microwave equipment. Towers are
designed to withstand high winds and maintain the rigidity essential to
the accurate beaming of radio signals. Bids are obtained from steel working
contractors for tower construction.
The Transmission Specialists
When specifications for new basic facilities have been developed, the transmission
branch spells out the requirements for deriving channels and
This covers a broad range-for instance, determining the spacing of repeaters
along coaxial cable routes and the right height for radio relay
towers, adjusting antennas on new towers and making wave guide tests to
achieve the best possible transmission over microwave facilities.
The transmission specialists also serve in a consulting capacity, giving other
engineering groups and other departments technical advice and design
information on the operation of new devices and equipment. They make
transmission studies for use in considering the development of new techniques
or equipment and for modernization of transmission systems. And
they make studies and tests of operating problems to find ways of improving
Tailor Made Service
Circuit design for the regular message network is the responsibility of
circuit layout organization. The design is based on network requirements
which traffic operations people determine through studies of call volumes
between cities throughout the country. The service branch concentrates on
new facilities for private line customers. Using information supplied by
sales groups, it designs the equipment and facilities needed.
Private line services come in all shapes and sizes, with each one tailored to
fit a particular customer's needs. For example, they may be highly specialized
applications of television, high speed data, complex signaling arrangements -
or a simple telephone circuit between two points.
Many services involve big, complex networks with widely separated switching
systems connected by a network of circuits used by only one customer.
The design of private line services calls for careful weighing of the
of different types of equipment and channels. It also calls for
careful study of operational and maintenance problems and for making
sure that transmission requirements are met satisfactorily. When these
matters have been resolved, full details go into a computerized circuit layout
The final link in the engineering job, this sets in motion the machinery for
getting new circuits into operation. The system automatically records the
private line and message service data and sends out circuit orders--tens of
thousands of them each month--to plant offices in the field. These orders
contain instructions for interconnecting the various units of equipment
required for each circuit.
The circuit layout system is a valuable source of information, since it
on computer disc files an up-to-date record of the entire engineered
layout of all long distance circuits and facilities.
The Maintenance Job
Circuits for long distance communications terminate in hundreds of central
offices and pass through thousands of repeater stations. These facilities are
the particular concern of Long Lines people who are responsible for the
maintenance of transmission lines, stations and associated equipment.
The Trouble Hunters
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Keeping the telephone network in first class operating condition calls for
two types of maintenance work.
Obviously, when there's trouble anywhere on the network it is essential to
locate it and put things right as fast as possible. This is called
or trouble-clearing, maintenance.
Equally important is preventive maintenance--avoiding possible service
interruptions by identifying potential troubles before they become operating
At each of the strategically located central offices across the country, Long
Lines craftsmen test their own section of the network to make sure it's in
good condition. On occasion, they rearrange facilities--to adapt the network
to changing volumes of traffic, for instance, or to restore service
by unexpected damage to plant.
In exercising quality control over the network, they take transmission
measurements, observe frequency characteristics and make adjustments
as required. One method used on coaxial systems is to examine "pilots."
These are single frequencies within the bandwidth of the system. Any
deviation in a pilot frequency serves as a warning of trouble. If a
fault is found, service can be diverted over a protection channel or an
alternate route while the trouble is being cleared.
The high degree of automation in the long distance dialing network - including
automatic selection of alternate routes- has necessitated the
development of automated maintenance programs. For example, devices
that automatically test individual circuits for frequency deviation and noise
can identify a faulty circuit and tell the craftsman something about the
Many types of test facilities enable craftsmen to determine whether the
nationwide network is intact and working properly. This equipment, too,
has to be guarded against trouble-caused by wear, deterioration, dirt. So,
maintenance forces keep a careful watch through regular inspection, cleaning
Most central offices are manned around the clock. This is not the case at
many intermediate stations on coaxial cable and radio relay routes. Though
craftsmen do visit these locations for routine inspection, full-time
is provided through alarm systems linked with attended stations.
The alarm systems check on services continuously. What the craftsman does when
an alarm signals trouble at an unattended repeater station depends
on what's wrong. He may be able to clear it by remote control. Or
he may have to make tests to determine the exact location. He may reroute
circuits until the trouble is cleared or he may have to go to the trouble
to take further corrective action.
Still another area of maintenance is the protection of cables from accidental
damage by power shovels, bulldozers and other construction machines.
Along all underground routes, markers warn that a cable is nearby.
The signs urge people to call a telephone plant office collect if they plan
construction near the cable, or if they see construction going on that might
The maintenance man who travels along the cable also helps. He visits
property owners along his route at least once a year and asks their help in
keeping the cable trouble-free. That gives him an opportunity to find out
about any construction plans that may be a potential source of trouble.
Taking care of equipment for overseas service is another responsibility.
Operation and maintenance of the transmitting, receiving, testing and control
facilities for overseas service are handled by specially trained technicians.
They test power supplies, transmission characteristics, components
of terminal equipment, and periodically "line up" the circuits.
For Government, Press and Business
The maintenance of special services--networks or individual circuits for
government agencies, press associations, financial and commercial firms-is
another aspect of the job. In this work the craftsmen often deal directly
with the customer. They keep an eye on the local as well as intercity links,
since the customer may report trouble involving the local portion of the
service. If that happens, Long Lines arranges for the local operating company
to locate and clear the trouble.
With each type of service--whether private line telephone, data, telemetering -
the scope of the job ranges from a simple two-point connection to a
complex multi-point network with many special switching requirements.
However, certain operating details are common to all: each circuit must
be made ready for service at the time the customer wants to use it; each
must be tested regularly to insure satisfactory operation; each must be
to service as fast as possible should trouble occur.
Some services require frequent switching operations or other rearrangements
to satisfy variations in the customer's needs. This is true of radio and
television transmission services where a broadcasting network's daily schedule
may call for extensive rearrangements at intervals of fifteen minutes
or less. To help craftsmen meet exacting requirements of this kind,
there are separate radio and television operating centers in the central
For some private line networks that have many circuits linking many locations,
Long Lines assigns a plant network manager to coordinate all inter-city
service responsibilities for the customer.
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Great care is taken to assure good service at all times and under all
In each Area, a restoration control office keeps constant watch on the plant
facilities in its territory and is informed almost instantaneously of any
major failure. Overall surveillance of Long Lines plant is maintained at a
national status center.
Thousands of detailed plans have been developed for restoration of service,
almost anywhere in the country, through the use of spare or protection
channels on other routes. On most multi-channel routes, sections of protection
channels can be automatically substituted in split seconds for channels
that become disabled. Emergencies are regularly simulated to make
sure that maintenance employees are thoroughly trained in the application
of restoration plans.
Another safeguard for service is a set of mobile radio units located at key
points throughout the country. They can serve as quick replacements in the event of destruction of a station or a radio relay tower. Each unit is
self-sufficient, containing enough equipment to restore hundreds of circuits.
Although all the equipment is in van units, it can easily be removed or transportation by air.
Special plans have been prepared for restoration of each radio relay station
using these units. The plans include a group of employees responsible for
the various details involved in handling the restoration job quickly and
Training and Personal Development
To help maintenance people acquire the skills necessary for providing good
service, the accent is on training and development.
Training is fundamentally the task of the employee's immediate supervisor. But
as equipment becomes more and more complex and new technologies
evolve at an increasingly rapid pace, special instruction in craft
work is more important than ever. To fill this need, there are centralized
schools in each of the Areas.
Initial training at these schools teaches the new employee the basic
information and skills necessary to do a productive job in the test room with
a minimum of supervision. Among other things, he acquires knowledge
of the various types of carrier systems, the functions of test boards, and an
understanding of transmission principles and measurements.
Then there is additional training, as required, in such matters as radio relay
systems; telephone, telegraph and data transmission; equipment maintenance;
and carrier systems.
When an employee is promoted to a supervisory post, he gets on-the-job
training geared to his needs during the first few weeks of his new assignment.
And, along with other new supervisors, he attends an initial supervisory
training course at the Area training center. Later, he receives special
training designed to increase his skills in communicating with and training
Planning and Managing the Network
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As maintenance people concentrate on keeping facilities in tip-top
those concerned with operating the long distance network help see
to it that customers get their calls through promptly.
That means working out such matters as the configuration of the network,
the routes for completing calls, and the size of trunk groups and switching machines.
It means developing practices and methods that enable customers to place
their calls easily and help operators to give effective assistance. It also
requires a constant watch over the traffic flow--plus careful management
of the network--to avoid the possibility of jam-ups.
Right Place, Right Time
For good service, there must be enough circuits in the right place at the
right time. Here, briefly, is how circuit engineers tackle this task.
They prepare forecasts of long distance calls between various cities and
watch trends in length of conversation, the busy hour and the busy season.
This enables them to develop plans for converting message loads into circuit
requirements. They then figure out the best way of routing calls between
individual points. After determining what the size of the various circuit
groups should be, they turn the information over to the group responsible
for planning new construction.
They also make certain that automatic equipment for switching long distance
calls is adequate. They decide when additions should be made and
they look ahead to plan the installation of new machines. In addition, they
keep an eye on the performance of private line switched networks used by
large customers, and pass along suggestions for changes in circuits or
Other specialists help in the interstate private line field. For example, a
group at headquarters prepares training material for customers on the
operation of their services-teletypewriter, telephone, data and so on. The
material goes to Long Lines people in the Areas. They, in turn, review it
with their associated company colleagues, who do the actual training of
Smooth day-to-day operation of long distance message service depends to
a large degree on skillful management of the network and administration
of switching machines. A brief description of how the network operates
will help illustrate the scope of the work.
To make sure that any of the more than 115 million telephones in North
America can be connected quickly with any other phone, the network has certain key features. One is a switching plan that classifies long distance
toll centers geographically and ranks them in a hierarchy of four categories.
The plan uses automatic switching equipment and automatic alternate
The result is a flexible arrangement for completing calls over a prescribed
selection of routes between any two points. The continent is divided into
12 regions, each with its own switching center. Each region is divided into
sections with sectional centers, and into still smaller units, each with its
own center. Like a gigantic computer, the network is then programmed
to handle any call in a systematic, economical manner with alternate routes
provided when the first choice is not available.
Keeping Tabs on the Network
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Network managers maintain a careful watch on the movement of traffic
through the network. Each regional center keeps up-to-the-minute information on such matters as how busy the circuits are which terminate in
that particular region and how well the switching equipment is performing.
In New York, a status board gives a continent-wide view of how calls
are moving throughout the entire network.
Traffic loads can build up fast on long distance communications highways
if, for example, a cable or microwave route should fail, or if there is an
upsurge of traffic in some part of the country. So, network managers
are ready at a moment's notice to prevent jam-ups by rerouting traffic
outside the normal pattern, or by using other means to gain better use of
Effective operation of switching equipment is the concern of machine
administrators. An important part of their job is to "balance" the equipment -
that is, to make sure all components in a switching machine carry
the same load. They make continuing checks on how well the facilities
are operating, rearrange or rebalance equipment components when necessary,
and regularly collect data on how each piece of equipment is operating. Any
troubles found in machine performance are referred to the maintenance
The Operating Job
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Long Lines has the special role of helping customers complete overseas
calls. Some of these--to points within the North American numbering
zone such as Hawaii, Alaska and Caribbean islands--are handled by regular
long distance operators at the originating toll centers, or are dialed
directly by customers. Assistance on other calls is provided by operators
at overseas operating centers. These centers, located in New York, Florida,
Pennsylvania and California, are growing rapidly. Since operating procedures
and situations vary in countries outside North America, overseas
operators at the centers are prepared to deal with any unusual methods
needed to complete calls to each country.
A staff group at Long Lines headquarters is responsible for the operating
practices that guide overseas operators. It also works with foreign telephone
administrations--and the CCITT, an international organization that promotes
worldwide cooperation in communications matters-- in developing
standard methods for handling calls to and from the U.S.
Training and development courses for overseas operators, also prepared
by staff people at headquarters, are geared to the ability of the individual
operator and encourage her to use personal judgment in various operating
situations. The overall purpose is to develop and maintain a skilled group
of operators who will provide customers with quick, custom-tailored service;
developing their abilities also helps them to qualify for advancement
within the company.
A new operator normally starts under the guidance of a service assistant. The
training consists of a combination of on-the-job training and programmed
instruction. There also are discussion periods with her instructor.
In the programmed section, she learns, for example, how to prepare
tickets for customer billing and how to look up rates and routes. She uses
a tape recorder--not only for learning operating techniques, but also to
record her own voice to hear how she might sound on a real call.
In sessions with the service assistant, she handles simulated calls at a
regular switchboard. Nearby, experienced operators are completing calls
for customers, so she learns in a realistic atmosphere. Gradually, she
begins handling calls on her own. Training continues in order to help her
develop maximum speed and skill.
A series of technical measurements are regularly made to determine how
well service is being handled. In addition, surveys are taken periodically
to get firsthand opinions from customers on the quality of service.
Ours is a 24-hour-a-day business. Operators are on duty around the clock
to help complete calls. The volume of calls varies considerably by the
hour and the day of the year. Because of time differences throughout the
world, traffic peaks with some countries occur in the early morning, and,
with others, late in the evening.
Having the right number of operators at the right place and right time is
one key to good service. It calls for careful scheduling to meet the current
demand, and long-range forecasting of force requirements so that trained
operators will be available in the future.
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Demand for overseas service is mushrooming. In recent years it has grown
at an annual rate of 20 per cent or more.
New facilities and improvements in techniques have steadily made the
service faster, better and more valuable for customers. Transmission on
telephone calls to most places overseas is just as clear as on calls across
The Bell System's overseas service provides communications between the
U.S. mainland and nearly all points on the globe. In addition, Long Lines
provides telephone service between this country and ships on the high
The Key to Overseas Service
International cooperation is essential to establish or extend overseas
service. Long Lines meets with representatives of other nations to
decide such matters as circuit requirements, facility additions, system
maintenance, service restoration plans and methods for settling accounts
among the partners. It keeps in close touch with telephone administrations
around the world to make sure service runs smoothly. And it takes an
active part in international organizations like the CCITT, which is devoted
to standardizing equipment and operating practices for international
The good relations maintained by the Bell System with communications
agencies around the globe have contributed greatly over the years to
speeding the development of overseas service and improving its quality and
The foundation for setting up direct service between the U.S. and an
overseas point consists of a two-part agreement between Long Lines and
the agency responsible for operations at the overseas end. One part relates
to service, the other to operations.
The part concerned with service covers the type and extent of the service
and procedures for dividing revenues. It outlines responsibilities for collection
of charges and for allowances in case of service interruptions. It
stipulates the currency to be used in paying balances due.
The operating part of the agreement covers objectives. It sets forth
requirements for circuit engineering, traffic operating, quality of service
and plant maintenance.
Where it is necessary to take an indirect route to reach an overseas point,
matters involved in establishing service-including rates and division of
revenues-are negotiated between Long Lines and the overseas correspondent
operating the intermediate terminal. The latter works out the
necessary agreements with the company or administration at the distant point.
The Underwater Route
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The first telephone cable system to span an ocean went into service in
across the Atlantic. It had an initial capacity of 36 telephone circuits. In
the next 12 years, the Bell System was responsible for engineering and
laying some 40,000 miles of underseas cable-including a transistorized
system that can carry 720 conversations, or 20 times as many as the first
transatlantic cable. Bell Laboratories has been chiefly responsible for
designing cable systems that continually improve in transmission quality
and circuit capacity.
In starting an ocean cable project, Long Lines people work with their
counterparts overseas to determine the route of the cable along the ocean
floor and to select shore sites for terminal equipment. Exhaustive surveys
and careful mapping of the ocean floor are required to select a route that
will be relatively free from physical hazards and, at the same time, as
short as possible.
The next step is to compute the exact lengths of cable required and the
number and locations of repeaters. Manufacture of these components can
then begin. At the same time, engineering and construction of terminal
buildings and equipment-and any lines needed to tie them into the domestic
telephone systems at each end-also can start.
Under normal conditions, cable-laying is a continuous, around-the-clock
operation. And while it is being laid, the cable must undergo constant
electrical and mechanical testing.
In cable systems constructed in recent years, the shallow water portions near the U.S. have been buried as a safeguard against accidental damage
by fishing trawlers. The burying is done by a "sea plow" which, as it
slides along the ocean floor, automatically buries the cable.
Originally, ownership of deep-sea telephone cables was generally shared
by the Bell System and the telephone administration at the distant end. In
some cases, several countries secured the right to use circuits by making a
capital contribution to the cost of a cable, and other circuits were leased
to international carriers for record (non-voice) use (data, telegraph, etc.).
Subsequently, the carriers were provided with circuits on the basis of
"indefeasible right of use." This meant that by contributing to the capital
cost of the cables they obtained circuits on a more economical basis. In
more recent systems-such as the cable between New Jersey and France
--ownership in this country is shared by the Bell System and the U.S.
record communications companies.
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High frequency radio was the sole transmission medium for overseas
telephoning before the advent of ocean cables. Today, it is used for service
with many far-distant points, including countries in South America, Africa
and Asia. And, like deep-sea cable, it has been improved over the years.
High frequency radio waves carrying voice signals abroad are transmitted
from the earth into space. When they meet the ionosphere-about 50 to
300 miles above the earth--the waves are reflected down toward the earth,
which reflects them upward and outward again. In this way, the radio
waves move overseas in one or more great hops until they reach the distant
For some years, this transmission method was adversely affected by magnetic
storms. However, special control equipment was developed which
substantially reduced the twin problems of fading and interference.
Overseas calls also travel via communications satellites. Satellite
is an extension of microwave radio techniques used on land, except
that the repeater station is some 23,500 miles out in space. The satellites
are synchronous; that is, their orbit around the earth takes the same time
the earth does to make a complete turn on its axis, so they appear stationary
at a given point; earth stations feed satellite signals into the domestic
The earth station has a key role in the successful operation of space communications.
In fact, its electronic equipment is even more complex than
the satellite's. One reason for this is that the earth station has to catch
relatively faint signals from the satellite and boost their power tens of
billions of times so they can be reconstituted into telephone conversations
and other forms of communications.
Long Lines began providing regular service via satellite in 1965 over the
first commercial communications satellite, which was launched by the
Communications Satellite Corporation (Comsat) on behalf of the International
Telecommunications Satellite Consortium, known as Intelsat.
Since then, Intelsat satellites with greater communications capacity have
been placed in outer space.
A transmission system suitable for shorter distances is over-the-horizon, or
"tropospheric scatter," radio. Operating in the ultra-high frequency
range, it produces a hundred or more telephone channels relatively free
from noise or fading. It may also be used to carry television programs.
Unlike microwave radio systems, which require a repeater point every 30
miles, an over-the-horizon system can cover a distance of about 200
miles without an intermediate station. The first such system used for
commercial service went into operation in 1957 between Florida and
Cuba over a span of 185 miles.
The system got its name from the fact that when radio waves travel over
the horizon and beyond the curvature of the earth, a small percentage of
wave energy is diverted back to earth by irregularities in the troposphere, a
region some ten miles above the earth. By employing high-powered transmitters,
highly sensitive receivers and large, high-gain antennas, enough
energy can be obtained to provide high-grade communication channels.
Overseas service is handled through five major operating centers. Those in
New York City, White Plains, N. Y., and Pittsburgh connect with countries
in Europe, in the Near East and some South American points. Service to
the Pacific and to the Far East is provided through Oakland, Calif. The
fifth major installation is in Jacksonville, Fla. It links the U.S. with
in the Caribbean and with countries in Central and South America.
Overseas calling has come of age. it is expanding rapidly. It is generally
as reliable as domestic long distance service and in most cases transmission
is equally good. And for fast service, operators can dial direct to many
telephones on other continents, while operators there can dial straight
through to telephones in North America.
The next step is overseas dialing by customers. By 1968, this was in operation
between the U.S. mainland and the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
A trial of intercontinental direct distance dialing (IDDD) was held on a
limited scale in 1967 between New York and London and Paris, and the
groundwork is being laid for the gradual introduction of IDDD to countries
throughout the world.
Communications for Government
The federal government is the Bell System's biggest single customer. With
interests and responsibilities around the world, it has a host of national
and international needs for all types of communications arrangements. In
recent years, its use of communications has been growing at a steady rate.
Serving the government calls for a high degree of Bell System teamwork.
Long Lines acts as the overall coordinator because most government traffic
crosses state boundaries or extends into Canada or overseas. Within Long
Lines, the government communications group is the key liaison between
the Bell System and the top echelons of government in arranging new military
and federal agency services.
Long Lines helps meet a great variety of government communications
requirements. For instance, top priority defense lines are necessary to
warn of an enemy attack and to signal and direct retaliation. Circuits are
supplied to link orbiting astronauts and tracking stations around the globe.
High-ranking military officials must have access at all times to emergency
telephones. And when the President of the United States travels, special
communications facilities must be arranged beforehand-to assure him
of continuous contact with Washington and other points around the world
and to enable the press, television and radio to provide nationwide news
coverage of his activities.
Those are examples of point-to-point hookups that serve one purpose, one
agency or one department. In addition, the government has been steadily
increasing its use of switched service communications. Two government
networks developed by the Bell System one for the military, called
Autovon, and the other for civil agencies, called the Federal Telecommunications
System (FTS) knit together vast numbers of armed forces
and civilian personnel. (They are described in more detail on page 71 .)
The government is moving toward an overall National Communications
System to coordinate communications and unify services of all major units
of government the office of the President, the military and the federal
agencies and departments both in normal times and in any kind of
For the Military
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The Long Lines government communications group is responsible for
translating communication needs of the Department of Defense into world-wide
command and control networks that can be provided by the Bell
As mentioned earlier, one of these networks is Autovon, which serves the
Defense Communications System within the continental United States,
Canada and overseas. Long Lines, the associated companies and the
independent telephone companies furnish Autovon service within the
continental U.S The network, shared by all military departments, has a
number of special features: priority calling, unusual conferencing arrangements
and direct dialing between military installations and planes in flight.
Autovon is managed by a Long Lines team in a "hardened" location near
Washington, D.C. There, blinking lights on a status board display the
up-to-the-minute condition of the network. The team works closely with
Long 1,ines personnel who coordinate the procurement and arrangement
of trunk and access lines for the Defense Communications System.
An integral part of Autovon is th, communications capability provided to the Aerospace Defense Command (ADC) and the North American Air
Defense Command (NORAD). From the Cheyenne Mountain complex
tunneled into the Rocky Mountains, high-level NORAD commanders
assess the possibility of enemy attacks and direct the air defense mission of
the United States and Canada.
Some military units rely upon Autovon for their administrative and backup
traffic while using a separate special-purpose network for operational
traffic. For example, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Alerting Network and the
Strategic Air Command's Primary Alerting System are separate special-purpose
networks. Those two networks enable command authorities to
establish immediate contact with the President of the United States and his
worldwide striking force of missiles and manned bombers.
For Federal Agencies
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The second big network -- FTS -- helps the civilian side of the government
do its job. FTS is the administrative workhorse for dozens of agencies.
It was developed with two primary purposes in mind--to handle day-to-day
administrative traffic and to give the government supplementary circuits
in times of national emergencies when the DDD network might
As in the military, some federal agencms have their own separate operational
networks An example is the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration's NASCOM, a satellite tracking network involving two
million miles of communication circuits. The vast tracking system is
through a Bell System-designed console at the Goddard Space
Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Apollo Launch Data System
(ALDS), created for the Apollo flights, is part of NASCOM. ALDS is a
radio and cable complex of data, television and telephone circuits that
funnel critical information on space missions from Cape Kennedy in
Florida to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas.
The Bel! System,. which engineered ALDS, also provides intricate communications services for the Federal
Aviation Agency's air traffic control
system and for the Weather Bureau's satellite programs. Other federal
agencies using private line services range from the Voice of America and
the Veterans Administration to the Atomic Energy Commission and the
Bureau of Reclamation.
Stress on Continuity
In providing communications services to the government, continuity of
service is essential; assuring such continuity involves survivability and
In the past decade, the Bell System has constructed thousands of miles of
broadband routes that by-pass large cities and other target areas so that an
enemy attack on a major site would not destroy vital circuits.
or hardened cables, with their underground communications centers
and emergency power equipment, provide substantial protection in the
event of nuclear attack. The diversity of our long-haul facilities--microwave
radio and underground coaxial cable-provides a large measure of
The other aspect of continuity restoration--involves both people and
equipment. If regular telephone administrative offices are destroyed by an enemy, emergency control centers are prepared to assume temporary
command. Unannounced day-long drills are held periodically to test the
readiness of people assigned to those centers. Preplanned circuit reroutes
and broadband reroutes are tested regularly to insure continuity. People
assigned to restoration control offices and plant status centers are on the
alert to minimize any disruption of service. The status center also keeps in
touch with the Defense Communications Agency and other command
authorities notifying them immediately of any failure affecting defense
The stress on survivability and restoration is valuable to the government's
defense effort. During a nuclear attack, the preservation of the nation
literally would depend on the effectiveness of government communications
Operating. under regulation is a way of life for Long Lines• Our accounts,
rates, services just about every facet of the business are subject to review
by the Federal Communications Commission.
The company recognizes the need for regulation, and it believes it should
have elbow room to do the best job for the public.
Mutual understanding is essential here. It is important to understand the
commission's responsibilities and objectives -and equally important that the commission has insight into our goals, problems and operating
The Long Lines regulatory matters department, which serves as liaison
between the company and the commission, supplies the FCC with information
about our domestic and international services.
This department also is responsible for methods and studies required for
the division of interstate revenues. And it prepares a variety of economic
studies--some for the company's use, others for the commission.
In its liaison capacity, the Long Lines department coordinating regulatory
matters has two fundamental jobs. For the FCC, it represents the company
and thus serves in many roles as rate engineers, salesmen, accountants.
For other departments within the company, it interprets the views of the
One of the department's responsibilities is to make a final review of all
applications to the FCC such as those for construction and for new tariffs
and services• That frequently involves balancing views and ideas of
different Long Lines groups that work on the applications.
Teamwork for Filings
Preparing applications to be filed with the FCC calls for teamwork between
departments within the company. An example is the "blanket" application
for interstate construction which Long Lines files each year. This important
document sets forth the number of circuit miles we plan to add to the
network and describes the facilities needed to do the lob.
Forecasts are at the core of the application. Marketing, for example, figures
out our circuit requirements for private hne services. The business research
group in accounting projects the rise in usage expected for telephone message
service. And traffic engineers determine how many and where message
circuits will be needed.
Engineering people use the information to plan routes and make rearrangements
for the additional circuits, and prepare the application. Once
they've completed it, they send it to the legal department for review.
The last stop for the application before it leaves Long Lines is the
group. They evaluate it from the FCC's viewpoint, asking themselves
such questions as: Is this a complete, accurate explanation of what we need
and why we need it? Will it be understood? Is it consistent with the
They may go back to other departments for clarification. They may add
information. It must be clear that the proposed facilities are necessary to
meet the public's need. Finally, the application is filed with the commission.
Another part of the regulatory job is to keep an eye on all current matters
before the FCC. Regulatory people in Long Lines, in cooperation with our
legal department and the general departments at AT&T headquarters, represent
the Bell System at commission hearings on the interstate business.
Working out procedures for dividing interstate revenues among Bell companies
is the responsibility of the regulatory department, in accordance
with the division of revenues contracts between AT&T and the associated
In a nutshell, the division of revenues contract provides that each partner
determines monthly the mount of plant it furnished, its applicable reserves,
and its expenses incurred in providing Interstate services. The interstate
revenues each company collects from its customers are combined into
one total. From this, each company takes out its expenses and taxes. What's
left over is profit, which is divided among the partners in proportion to the
amount of plant each provides for interstate services.
Determining net plant investment and expenses for Long Lines each month
is relatively easy. It does only interstate business. So, all its plant costs,
reserves and expenses are related to interstate services.
It's not so simple for the associated company. Almost every item of plant,
reserves and expenses relates partly to interstate services and partly to
services it furnishes within a particular state; what applies to interstate
must be sorted out and separated from the whole.
"Separations" studies must be made for every item of plant, reserves and expenses applicable to interstate service. Most of the separations studies
on expenses are made annually; those on plant are prepared at intervals
of one to five years, depending on the type of plant. These studies produce
ratios usually a relationship of dollars to a base that's obtainable each
month--which are applied in monthly settlement studies to reflect current
conditions. Thus, adjustments for such changes as shifts in interstate traffic
patterns are made promptly.
The associated companies are responsible for preparing the separations
studies. They follow procedures worked out by Long Lines regulatory
people in cooperation with AT&T general departments and the associated
companies. The procedures, revised by Long Lines from time to time to
account for changed conditions, new operating methods and new types of
plant, are based on a separations manual. The manual was developed by
the FCC and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners,
with industry-wide cooperation.
Settlements under the division of revenues--which are administered by the
accounting department are handled in two steps. First there is a preliminary settlement for the current month-say March. That is based on
The second step occurs in the second succeeding month in this case, May.
Factual data for March have now become available. Each associated company
sends us detailed statements of its book costs, plant reserves, expenses
and revenues involved in furnishing interstate service, and the accounting
department computes final settlements for the month of March. Adjustments
are then made for any differences between the preliminary and final
Regulatory develops economic studies that provide cost data and revenue
information on interstate services fo( our own use and to answer requests
from the commission.
A single study may involve a number of steps. For instance, it could require
development of procedures for developing data on a particular service...summarization of the raw data into study results and statements...and
finally, preparation of testimony for regulatory proceedings. The separations
data continually being developed for division of revenue settlements
are particularly useful in preparing many economic studies.
The Legal Department
"The intricacies of business organization are built on a legal framework,"
the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone remarked. "Without
the constant advice and guidance of lawyers, business would come to
an abrupt halt."
That certainly holds true in a complex nationwide organization like Long
Lines. We need legal guidance in just about every aspect of our business.
Among the major concerns of the legal department are drafting and negotiating
international and domestic agreements, handling tax matters, and
representing the company in regulatory proceedings. In addition, legal
documents--from bills of sale to deeds and tariff filings are part of running
the business. And, sometimes there are claims either for or against
the company--that must be investigated and resolved.
Advice and Counsel
To conduct our long distance and overseas communications business, we
enter into agreements with the associated companies, the independent
telephone companies and communications agencies in other countries.
There are agreements on the provision of service, joint use of plant, and a
host of other matters. All these are legal documents and, of course, must
be drawn up with extreme care.
A variety of documents are necessary for some projects. Take, for example, a proposed deep-sea cable system. First, a resolution must be prepared for
presentation to the AT&T board of directors. After the board's approval, a request for FCC authorization must be filed together with an application
for a cable landing license:.
The next step is to draw up a formal contract for those who will jointly own
the cable in some instances there are more than a half a dozen owners.
The contract covers division of costs of laying the cable and assignment of
circuits. In addition, cable circuit agreements must be drawn up when other
carriers are granted the right to use cable circuits.
Preparing documents is only one phase of the advice and counsel given by
our legal people. They keep track of all new legislation and rules of
agencies that may have a bearing on Long Lines operations.
The legal department also gives assistance on corporate matters involving
the form and scope of authorities exercised by the Long Lines Department
Board and by the officers and employees of Long Lines. It also helps with
the corporate affairs of Long Lines subsidiaries.
Before Regulatory Authorities
Representing the company in formal proceedings before the FCC is a
part of th, legal job. Proceedings may concern applications filed
by Long Lines, complaints filed by others, or hearings initiated by the
commission. Working closely with the regulatory matters department, the
lawyers help develop the company's position on issues involved in the
proceeding. During a hearing, they question witnesses and carry out
They also help prepare documents and exhibits submitted to
support our case.
They work with regulatory and other departments in preparing tariffs and
applications filed with the FCC. They share responsibility with the engineering
department for applications on new radio services, obtaining frequency assignments and constructing lines to expand long distance
Taking Care of Taxes
A tax group in the legal department at headquarters handles matters
state .and local taxes paid through Long Lines. It works closely
with groups in the accounting department at headquarters and in the Areas, and with tax people in AT&T general departments and the associated
The field is broad. It includes interpretation of laws, valuation of property,
negotiation of assessments and determining rates .... preparing and filing
reports, statements, returns .... drafting petitions, claims, waivers and
other documents dealing with payment or refund of taxes .... advising on
the tax aspects of company plans. Where controversies arise with taxing
authorities, protests and briefs must be prepared and filed, presentations
and arguments made before administrative bodies, settlements negotiated
and, if necessary, cases prepared for litigation.
The tax job has grown steadily over the years as our plant facilities expanded.
Also, almost all states and many cities now impose sales and use
!axes, and in 40 states and some 5 cities there as a tax on corporate net
income. The legal department files about 3,700 reports covering thousands of taxing districts throughout the country.
Since we own property in all states and the District of Columbia, property
taxes account for a large portion of our state and local tax expense. Except for several states where we pay gross receipts or other taxes instead
of property taxes, the essential task is to obtain equitable assessments on
the value of the property.
In some states our property is assessed as a unit by the state tax commission
or similar agency. In others, it is assessed in part by the state and in part
the locality--and that means that reports must be filed with both agencies.
In still others, our property is assessed locally.
Obtaining tax bills is part of the job. Because only about half of our tax
bills are sent automatically by the tax collector, the legal department writes
or telephones for thousands of bills to be sure our taxes are paid on time.
In most states, the collector is not obliged to mail bills or notices, and the
property owner is not excused from paying because he didn't get a bill.
Litigation and Claims
The legal department represents the company in litigation to protect Long
Lines property, service and interests. It defends the company in actions
brought against it, and represents the company in claims against others.
The company's policy as to self-insure its liability for damages in connection
with company-owned motor vehicles Should accidents occur, the legal department
supervises the investigation. It adjusts or litigates personal injury or property claims.
It also supervises the investigation of damage to company property and
takes whatever steps are necessary to recover loss incurred by damage. One Job
is to determine how much revenue is lost when someone cuts
an underground cable through negligence. More than just repair costs are
revolved because the company has the added expense of rerouting circuits
around the damaged facility in order to keep service going.
Much of the claims work is handled by the legal department's staff in the
Areas. Each of these field groups is headed by an Area attorney who reports
directly to the general attorney at Long Lines headquarters. The
Area attorneys render legal services for management in the Areas, just as
the legal staff in New York assists management at headquarters.
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of page 84 image
The accounting department performs a wide variety of services that help
keep Long Lines running on an even keel.
Among its many jobs are taking care of payroll and employee records, preparing
financial and statistical reports essential to effective management,
keeping records of expenses and other financial transactions, and handling
all programming and operations in the growing field of electronic data
Accounting has both headquarters and Area organizations reporting directly
to the assistant vice president-accounts and finance. The work of the
groups at headquarters is largely professional or administrative in some
cases a combination of the two.
Procedures and Controls
A fundamental responsibility is to establish and maintain an accounting
system that will insure accurate accounts accounts that give a true picture of
the business and the results of its operations. An equally important task
is to make sure that procedures and controls in all departments adequately
safeguard company assets.
At headquarters, a group administers the Uniform System of Accounts as
prescribed by the Federal Communications Commission. For the most
part, that entails interpreting the accounting system in the light of rapid
changes in the business and in economic and technical fields. Under the
system, each department "classifies" its financial transactions - that is,
each transaction the appropriate account number before passing it
to accounting. Each classification represents an entry in the accounts.
Other headquarters accounting people develop procedures and instructions
for operations in the accounting department and for all Long Lines people
who work with transactions that affect the company's financial and operating
results. In all cases, the objective is twofold: keep procedures simple
and economical; build in controls to protect assets and assure dependability
of the accounting product.
An important means for maintaining a system of controls is the internal
audit program. This valuable service to company management is performed
by an independent group of specialists in Long Lines. They observe first-hand
how various jobs are handled, whether a job has proper procedures
and whether the people concerned understand and follow the instructions.
Their goal is to preserve the integrity of records and reports, protect assets
and help managers carry out company plans and policies effectively.
Another headquarters group is responsible for establishing and coordinating
security policy as it applies to Long Lines assets and revenues. It develops
security practices, conducts investigations and gives guidance to other
departments on security matters. It also is responsible for the interpretation
and implementation of government security regulations on classified
Service to All Departments
Managers at all levels must have accurate, timely information on different
aspects of the business in order to make sound decisions. Accounting people supply such information quickly and
in a meaningful, understandable
form. They prepare a wide range of reports-from predictions of the
effect economic factors will have on our operations to studies of message
volumes, expenses and earnings. Other reports cover customer usage, sales,
service and plant trouble results.
They also aid other departments in the field of taxes. For instance,
helps them figure out the tax consequences of proposed plans, and
it furnishes the chief tax attorney with data for use in negotiations with
In one of !ts jobs, headquarters accounting serves the entire Bell System:
the administration of revenue settlements among the Bell companies for
interstate business and between Long Lines and foreign communications
organizations for overseas business• While the basic steps for dividing
the revenues among the partners are developed by the regulatory matters
department, the actual settlements are administered by accounting. The same
accounting group also analyzes changes and trends in settlement
data, and is responsible for accuracy of results.
The Production Job
At the head of the accounting organization in each Area is a manager
who reports to the assistant vice president-accounts and finance in order
to preserve the unity of responsibility for accounting.
The district and division offices in the field do accounting's production
work. Here, for example, ]s where data are accumulated and processed for
reports that enable all departments to control costs, keep informed on
trends and estimate future needs for budget purposes.
Three of the offices do pricing and billing for private line services. From
service orders sent in by sales and government communications people,
they compute charges and send out bills to customers.
One office does the payroll work for all Long Lines. That includes keeping
employee records, handling allotments and payroll taxes, calculating pay
and preparing reports for management on force, expense and other matters.
Several offices- called "property and cost"-handle work and material reports,
bills, vouchers and other records relating to construction, maintenance,
operation and ownership of telephone plant. They review the source
documents and record the information on punched cards-one for each
transaction. These entries are transmitted to the data processing center
where they are evaluated and summarized by machine to obtain totals
required for records and reports.
Electronic Data Processing
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Business keeps growing in complexity. Change comes swiftly. If managers
are to have the knowledge to make good decisions, they must be able to get
the necessary information fast.
This is what electronic computers are for. At the start they handled isolated
tasks• But as their capacity, speed and flexibility increased, they were put
to work to process a series of related lobs. They are helping to get work
done better and faster.
Electronic data processing has three basic elements:
Design of systems for processing from origination of data to ultimate use
Translation of those designs into "programs" that enable a computer to do the
Collection of data, operation of the computer and distribution of the final
Systems design is performed by all departments in Long Lines since
each is responsible for data systems fundamental to its needs. Methods people
in .,ach department, working with specialists In computer techniques, set up system objectives• They determine what the input, output and
basic data flow are to be. They work out methods for collecting and
data. They coordinate with other departments where there is a
common interest in specific data. They set up production schedules with
accounting operations people and, when appropriate, they direct conversion
to the new system.
Programming of systems designed by all departments is the responsibility
of accounting groups at headquarters, Kansas City, Cleveland and other
locations. They create the programs that enable computers to accomplish
the kind of processing the system designer is after. That means incorporating specifications of the system into a series of operations and instructions
that the computer can handle.
A standards group at headquarters develops the techniques and procedures
to be followed by programmers. It also handles long range planning, machine
selection and development of special programs used to perform repetitive operations. Another headquarters group is responsible for
and control of all data processing in Long Lines.
For computer operations, the scene shifts to accounting: offices in the Areas
They are responsible for the input of data to the systems, for computer
processing, and for delivering the finished product to the user. For a given
system, all phases of work may be performed either in one office or in
many different offices.
Large scale computer centers are located at White Plains and Mt. Kisco,
N.Y., and Kansas City. Since intermediate size computers are located
near originators and users of data, many jobs have been designed
so that the intermediate computer can handle the initial steps of input and
editing. Some data are transmitted to one of the large centers for processing
and then back to the intermediate computer for output on high speed
A large portion of our data processing effort is devoted to circuit provision.
Studies are made of future traffic loads and circuit and equipment needs.
Keeping in mind growth and complexity in the business plus the steadily
accelerating tempo of change-systems designers and programmers work
toward better, more integrated information systems. Each step in that
direction brings Long Lines closer to a business information system that
will produce data on every aspect of the business, when and where they are
The dynamic character of our data processing effort has led to many
changes in the accounts and finance department in recent years. The
general trend has been to consolidate equipment and office forces and
to rely more heavily on mechanized processing and rapid data communications.
In addition to achieving more efficient and economical operation,
this process has opened challenging new opportunities to new and old
employees alike. This trend is certain to continue.
The Treasury Department
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While the accounting department records Long Lines money transactions,
the treasury department handles the funds.
It has custody of Long Lines cash and securities. It collects bills owed the
company, pays bills we owe others. It handles payments for wages and
salaries, and makes financing arrangements for construction and other
An assistant treasurer is in charge. He reports to the assistant vice president-
accounts and finance.
Receipts and Payments
Cash receipts for Long Lines come mainly from two sources: long distance
message service, and private line services.
The local telephone companies take care of billing for message service in
their territories. Net amounts due Long Lines, which are determined by the
division of revenues procedures, are included in monthly cash settlements arranged by our treasury department with the associated companies.
Because our service extends throughout the world, funds also come in from
settlements with foreign telephone systems for balances in our favor.
Bills for private line services are collected by sales and government communications
offices. The treasury department collects all the rest, including
the bills we send Bell companies and others for rental of our facilities,
for Long Lines construction on jointly owned cable projects, and for
maintenance work performed for the associated companies.
Under an arrangement set up by treasury, Long Lines maintains bank accounts in cities where bills for private line service are collected. The money
collected in a community goes into local banks and is used to pay local
bills--contractors' services, rentals for space and the like. With that
money is on hand when and where it's needed. Any surplus is transferred
to the New York disbursement accounts to be used for paying other
On the disbursement side, the treasury department makes a wide variety of
payments, including those for federal, state and municipal taxes. It makes
literally thousands of separate tax payments. In fact, hardly a working day
goes by without at least a dozen tax bills coming due.
The treasury department pays the bills we owe other Bell units--to Western
Electric, for instance, .for services and supplies It pays foreign telephone systems for balances in their favor. It also disburses funds to banks to
honor company drafts presented for payment.
The Draft Arrangements
Wage and salary payments to Long Lines employees are made in the form
of drafts, a different arrangement from payment by check.
A check is an order drawn by an authorized agent of the company. It is
addressed to the bank, directing it to pay from funds previously deposited.
A draft is an order drawn by an authorized agent of the company. But it is
addressed to the company, and the money need not be on deposit in the
bank when it is issued. Instead, the company makes the amount good as
soon as the bank returns the draft to the company.
The net amount of employees' pay is computed by the accounting department.
Data channels are used to transmit the payroll information on magnetic
tape to each Area headquarters where the drafts are printed. The
cashier at the Area headquarters imprints a facsimile signature of the
treasurer and drafts are delivered to offices in the Area for distribution
Cashiers at the larger offices issue sundry drafts over their own signatures
to make other types of payments up to a specified maximum. In general
those payments are for miscellaneous bills, for advances of working funds
to employees and for reimbursing employees for expenses incurred in connection with their jobs.
Field drafts, which have a lower maximum, also are written by authorized
persons. Most right-of-way agents, for instance, carry a pocket size book of
drafts to use in purchasing options and settling certain damage claims.
And construction foremen generally are authorized to issue field drafts for
board and lodging of gang employees and for certain other expenses.
The sundry and field drafts are presented each day by the banks concerned
to Long Lines Area and headquarters cashiers. The cashiers let the
disbursement accounting once know how much is due each
bank; the disbursement once certifies the amount the treasury group in
New York is to pay.
With drafts for wages and salaries, the procedure is somewhat different.
Instead of notifying the accounting once in his Area of the amount, the
cashier informs treasury at headquarters because reconciliation of pay
drafts is centralized in New York City. Also, in cities or towns where we
don't have cashiers, the banks notify our treasury department directly of
amounts due on pay drafts.
When all draft information is received in New York, treasury takes care of
it with a single check. The check is made out on a New York bank which
credits the account of each bank in th_ field to which reimbursement is due.
As a result of treasury's procedures, the time required to reimburse the
banks through which Long Lines drafts are cleared is reduced to a minimum.
In fact, the banks are usually reimbursed the first business day after
the drafts have been presented for payment.
Financing and Cash Economy
Money management is an important function. Treasury relies on receipts
from Long Lines business operations to pay current operating expenses.
The balance is paid as income to AT&T's general treasury. Long Lines
receives additional funds as required from AT&T's general treasury for
construction and for plant additions and replacements
Long Lines treasury people regularly make forecasts of our cash situation,
based on construction plans, expected collections and reformation gathered
from other departments. The forecasts are continually revised as more
detailed information becomes available. The object is to establish as
as possible the dates when surplus funds may be transferred to the
general treasury department or when Long Lines will need more money.
Meanwhile, the treasury department seeks to maintain "cash economy"
that is, to handle receipts and disbursements so that a minimum amount of
cash will be tied up in bank balances that do not bring in a return. That is
another tough job. Each working day Long Lines transactions add up to
millions of dollars, and the movement of money into and out of the business
fluctuates from day to day. With the help of forecasts, the treasury department
schedules transactions so that current disbursements are covered as
much as possible by current receipts.
Our business depends on the public's trust and confidence.
Good public relations means gaining and keeping public approval of our
operations, policies and goals. That IS a significant part of the job of all
Long Lines employees: operators, craftsmen, managers, clerical workers
or employees involved in any other aspect of the business.
The role of the public relations department is to coordinate that effort. The
department looks ahead to assess potential problems and studies ways to
deal with them effectively if they arise. It also keeps employees and the
general public informed about the business.
Direct to the Public
Public relations people, issue news stories, radio reports, TV film clips,
fact sheets and background material to provide news media and the public with
accurate information about Long Lines. They coordinate their activities with
similar groups in other units of the Bell System.
To promote a clear understanding of how Long Lines--and the Bell System
serves the nation, we welcome visitors at appropriate locations. At
the New York headquarters building--largest long distance communications
center in the world we play host to people from all over the country
and from many foreign nations. The public relations department is responsible
for planning these tours.
Long Lines people pay visits, too to share owners. This. is part of a Bell
System program under which management employees visit share owners
to discuss the business and answer questions about it. In the Areas, the
is administered by the general managers' staff; public relations administers
it at headquarters. All Long Lines share owner visits are coordinated
with the associated companies.
Keeping employees informed about the business enables them to perform
their lobs with perception and helps to increase understanding of the business
in the communities where they work and live. The ultimate aim of
employee information is better service for our customers.
One of the best sources of information for employees is their supervisor.
Next comes the printed word a job handled by public relations and information
people who prepare and distribute publications for employees.
These include Long Lines, a monthly magazine sent to all active and retired
employees; Area employee newspapers; information and management
bulletins; and a Management Report for supervisory employees. At
Long Lines headquarters in New York City-and in other Area headquarters
a special telephone newswire is used to keep employees abreast. Or of
fast-breaking news concerning, the Bell System and Bell System people.
Special booklets prepared by public relations provide employees with
descriptive information on basic Long Lines facilities and services. The
booklets also are used as reference material for educators, students, researchers
In addition, the public relations department prepares background and position
papers on a variety of topics--company policies and customer relations,
for instance to bring about better employee understanding of the
business and its goals.
Long Lines is an important member of the communities it serves and the
communities it operates in. Through the service it provides and the wages
and taxes it pays, the company makes a significant contribution to community
The welfare of Long Lines and the community are interdependent. The
progress of one depends on the progress of the other. As part of its civic
responsibility, Long Lines concerns itself with community problems and
participates in their solution the education and employment of disadvantaged
and minority groups, for example.
Employee involvement in public and community affairs is a matter of individual
initiative and choice: through employee publications and other
media, however, Long Lines encourages employees to fulfill their
as citizens--to keep informed on political issues, to support their
political parties and candidates, and to join in helping to solve community
As part of the job of promoting an understanding of Long Lines and its
goals, the public relations department provides talks, films and a variety
of descriptive materials employees may use in community activities. It also
assists in arranging public visits to Long Lines facilities across the
Person-to-person activities-like "open houses" are valuable in maintaining
good relationships with customers and the community.
Contributions and Memberships
The associated companies have primary responsibility for corporate
contributions to charitable and other organizations. But Long Lines-with
employees at hundreds of locations across the country has an obligation
in that field, too. Long Lines contributions are administered through
public relations in close coordination with the Areas and the associated
Because Long Lines recognizes that the nation's economy and the quality
of communications service depend on a high standard of education, its
contribution program includes educational institutions and educationally related organizations. To qualify, an institution must be accredited,
supported and non-sectarian.
Sponsoring corporate memberships in certain outside organizations is also
processed through public relations. These are individual memberships in
professional and community organizations where the exchange of technical
and business information benefits Long Lines.
Why We Are Advertising
The basic objective of Long Lines advertising is to promote the use of
distance telephoning. At the same time, we want to make our service more
valuable to customers; an important part of the advertising job is to suggest
new ways to use the service for the customer's benefit.
Promoting long distance is an undertaking Long Lines shares with its associated
company partners. We advertise nationally. The associated companies
advertise in local media. Long Lines keeps in touch with its partners
to exchange ideas and coordinate plans.
The advertising material for long distance service is usually prepared in
quarterly packages. Every three months, the Long Lines Advertising
Council, headed by the assistant vice president of public relations, meets
to review and approve new material.
Long distance telephone service is promoted on four separate fronts: residence,
travel, business and overseas.
Residence callers make up the largest group of people reached. To those
customers, we point out the personal and emotional rewards of the service.
We reach them through ads in general magazines and through television
and radio. Our support of the Bell System's national television programs,
for instance, is part of the residence market promotion.
The travel market is made up of those who take business or pleasure trips.
Our basic advertising urges people to call ahead for reservations and keep
in touch with home and office while away. Radio, television and other
media help us reach this public.
Business customers, though fewer in number than residence callers, account
for about half of all long distance messages and revenues. To reach
this market, we talk mainly about regular telephone message service, pointing
out that long distance is an essential sales tool - that "programmed" use
of long distance saves time, cuts costs and increases business.
The message for overseas service is both informative and promotional We
point out that today you can keep in touch with anyone almost anywhere
in the world - by telephone. And we stress that Bell System overseas service
is fast and personal.
Other Units of the Bell System