AT&T Long Lines- The Bell System Unit For Nationwide and Worldwide Communications (Running the Business)
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AT&T Long Lines

"Long Lines"
The Bell System Unit For Nationwide
and Worldwide Communications

Running the Business

Table of Contents Chapter Links:

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.

Personnel Matters

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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 examinations, and refer qualified candidates to the supervisors they are to work with.

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 hiring 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 community.

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 classifications, and in forming organizational structures in the various departments. It also acts as adviser to other departments on wage and salary administration.

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.

Employee Benefits

One measure of a good place to work is the so-called fringe benefit package 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 cover:

  • Wages or disability payments when an eligible employee is unable to 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 age 65.

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.

Medical Program

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, transportation 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 communications systems.

Marketing Long Distance Services

Communications services are essential to the effective management of business.

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 communications 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 efficiently.

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 cooperation 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 developing 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, arrangements 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 communications 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 prices --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 services. 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 facilities 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, traffic 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 on--that 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 installation, 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 board."

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 prepares 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 estimates.

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: right-of-way.., 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 circuits.

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 service.

Tailor Made Service

Circuit design for the regular message network is the responsibility of the 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 performance 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 system.

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 maintains 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 restorative, or trouble-clearing, maintenance.

Equally important is preventive maintenance--avoiding possible service interruptions by identifying potential troubles before they become operating problems.

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 interrupted 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 significant 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 trouble.

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 and testing.

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 protection 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 location 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 endanger service.

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 restored 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 offices.

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.

Round-the-Clock Watch

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Great care is taken to assure good service at all times and under all kinds of conditions.

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 efficiently.

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 others.

Planning and Managing the Network

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As maintenance people concentrate on keeping facilities in tip-top condition, 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 switching equipment.

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 customer personnel.

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 routing.

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 unusual 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 circuits.

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 people.

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.

Overseas Service

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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 town.

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 seas.

The Key to Overseas Service

International cooperation is essential to establish or extend overseas telephone 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 calling.

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 reliability.

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 1956 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. international record communications companies.

Radio Links

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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 receiver.

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 transmission 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 telephone networks.

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.

Operating Centers

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 islands 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 emergency.

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 System.

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
become overloaded.

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 controlled 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 restoration.

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. Blast-resistant 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 survivability.

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 services.

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 circuits.

Regulatory Matters

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 practices.

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 commission.

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 interstate 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 regulatory 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 commission's objectives?

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.

Dividing Revenues

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 companies.

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 estimates.

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 settlement.

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 government 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 significant 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 cross-examination. 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 concerning 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 companies.

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 by 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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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 processing.

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, assigns 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 communications projects.

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, accounting helps them figure out the tax consequences of proposed plans, and it furnishes the chief tax attorney with data for use in negotiations with taxing authorities.

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 work

  • 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 distributing 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 coordination 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 relatively 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 printers.

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 needed.

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 purposes.

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 arrangement, 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 obligations.

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 assistant treasurer and drafts are delivered to offices in the Area for distribution to employees.

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 appropriate 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 accurately 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.

Public Relations

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 program 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.

Informing Employees

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 and writers.

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 prosperity.

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 responsibilities as citizens--to keep informed on political issues, to support their political parties and candidates, and to join in helping to solve community problems.

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 country. 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 financial 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 companies.

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, privately 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 long 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.

NEXT CHAPTER: Other Units of the Bell System

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