AT&T Long Lines- The Bell System Unit For Nationwide and Worldwide Communications (Glossary - Bibliography)
Home Page About This Site What's New References and Links Bell System History Life in the Bell System Capsule History of the Bell System Bell Canada Bell Operating Companies Bell Labs AT&T Long Lines AT&T Historical Financials Historical Photos Historical Film & Video Bell Telephone Magazine Articles What Killed Ma Bell "The Day the Bell System Died The Rape of Ma Bell AT&T Divestiture The Decision to Divest Odds & Ends The Eastland Disaster Bell System Employee Stories Bell System Property - (Not) For Sale Bell Logo History Trading Post - Bell System stuff wanted, for sale, for trade, etc. Bell System Advertisements Don Lively's Essay and More Miscellaneous Retirees Info Trademarks and Copyrights Visitors Comments Dew (Distant Early Warning) Line Project "Yellow Pages" Site Map The Western Electric Store Books Bell System Practices (BSP) & Technical Manuals

AT&T Long Lines

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

Glossary - Bibliography

Table of Contents Chapter Links:


Frequently used telephone terms, acronyms and abbreviations with a brief definition of each:

ABD - Average Business Day; message figure based on telephone messages handled Monday through Friday.

ACCESS CODE - Number prefix a subscriber dials to reach the nationwide long distance network.

AMA - Automatic Message Accounting; automatically records the data needed for billing customer-dialed long distance calls.

AMPLIFIER - Device for boosting the energy of communications signals.

ANC - All Number Calling; system of telephone numbering that uses seven digits within a Numbering Plan Area.

ANI - Automatic Number Identification; equipment that automatically records the calling number. This is part of automatic message accounting.

AREA CODE - Three-digit code used in dialing long distance calls from one Numbering Plan Area to another.

BELLCOMM, INC. - Bell System company formed in 1962 to assist National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

BME - Basic Medical Expense Plan; hospitalization and medical insurance plan for employees.

BSP - Bell System Practices; detailed procedures written by Bell System companies to cover nearly every phase of the business.

BY - Subscriber's line is busy.

BY-PASS ROUTES - Lines, cables, or systems that go around key cities.

Clock used by operators to record duration of calls.

CATV - Community Antenna Television; service that carries TV signals from antenna tower straight to subscriber's home; subscribers buy the service directly from the operator of the system.

CARD DIALER - Automatic pushbutton dialer combined with regular telephone; phone numbers coded on plastic cards are inserted in dialer slot for fast, accurate dialing.

CARRIER - Equipment that electronically stacks one voice on top of another at the beginning end and separates them at the receiving end.

CCITT - International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee; an organization that sets standards and promotes worldwide cooperation in communications matters.

CENTRAL OFFICE - Switching unit in telephone system providing service to general public.

CENTREX - Type of private branch exchange (PBX) that enables incoming calls to be dialed direct to any extension, and lets extension users dial their own calls without switchboard assistance.

CHANNEL - Electrical path furnished by the telephone company for communications purposes between two or more points.

DATA LANGUAGE - Language of computers and other business machines expressed as perforations on tape, punched holes on cards, or electronic Impressions on magnetic tape.

DATA-PHONE SERVICE - With Data-Phone sets, customers can transmit wide range of data from one business machine to another over the telephone network.

DATASPEED* TAPE-TO-TAPE TRANSMISSION - Transmits over the telephone network at more than 1,000 words a minute.

DDD - Direct Distance Dialing; easy, fast telephone service which permits customers to dial their own long distance calls.

DID - Direct Inward Dialing; enables outside calls to be dialed direct to extensions without going through a switchboard

DOD - Direct Outward Dialing; the reverse of DID: an extension user dials out without switchboard assistance.

DROP - Wire that leads from customer's premises to cable connected with central office.

ECO - Electronic Central Office; telephone office that uses electronic switching.

EDP - Electronic Data Processing; computer processing of a series of operations.

EME - Extraordinary Medical Expense Plan; company-sponsored plan that applies when coverage in Basic Medical Expense Plan is exceeded.

ESS - Electronic Switching System; using computer-type equipment and operating at lightning speed, this system makes possible many additional services for customers.

ETV - Educational Television; service offering for transmission of televised instruction; term also used by broadcasters to describe instructional and cultural programming.

EXCHANGE - Unit of territory for telephone rate purposes; includes city, village or other community and is served by one or more central offices.

EXECUTIVE INSTRUCTIONS - Set of instructions by vine president in charge of Long Lines which assigns responsibilities and delegates authorities to Individuals by title.

FACILITIES - Non-specific catchall word for telephone equipment, installations, systems or complex of property and equipment.

FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION - Transmission of handwritten messages or sketches by means of private line or, when associated with Data-Phone set, over the regular telephone network

HARDENED - Term for blast-resistant construction.

LASER - Device that produces a coherent light beam so intense that it has potential as a communications carrier.

LOCAL CALL - Any call within the local calling area.

LOCAL CALLING AREA - The area, consisting of one or more exchanges within which calls may be made without a toll charge.

LONG DISTANCE CALL - Any call beyond the local calling area.

MARK SENSE - To record billing information while handling calls, operators mark preprinted cards with graphite pencils; data processing machines respond to the cards as though they were punched.

MASER - Precision amplifier developed for satellite communications which will amplify very weak signals.

MEASURED RATE SERVICE - Monthly rate for local telephone service which provides for a specified number of message units; any over that amount are charged for.

MESSAGE - Completed communication; telephone call becomes message when conversation takes place between the calling and called persons.

MESSAGE UNIT - Unit of charge for local calls within local service areas where multi-unit rate treatment is applicable.

MICROWAVE -  Line-of-sight radio transmission using super-high frequencies.

NC - No circuit: available.

NON-LIST - Telephone numbers not listed in the directories but included in the records of directory assistance operators.

NON-PUBLISHED-  Telephone numbers neither listed in directories nor available in records of directory assistance.

PBX -. Private Branch Exchange; switching system of business or other organization which serves its telephones over a common group of lines from the central office.

PEG COUNT - A count of the number of times a circuit or piece of apparatus is used in a given period.

PRIVATE LINE - Point-to-point communications arrangement apart from the regular exchange or toll system; also used to refer to an individual line as against a multi-party line.

RELAY - An electromagnetic device which operates other devices such as switches and spring contacts.

SEEING-AID SYSTEM - Sensing device which indicates switchboard line and permits blind persons to operate switchboards.

SERVICE CODES - Codes for reaching telephone company services such as repair, directory assistance and business office.

SOLAR CELL - Device which derives electrical energy from light.

STATION - Telephone or teletypewriter on customer premises through which service is furnished. A main station is just that; an extension, an additional set.

SWITCHED NETWORK - Nationwide complex of diversified channels and reliable switching equipment that automatically routes communications to their destinations.

TASI - Equipment used with underseas cables to double conversation capacity; takes advantage of times when people are listening or pausing the voice channels they leave temporarily unused are automatically assigned to other talkers.

TELSTAR -  Bell System's experiments with Telstar I and II in early '60s proved feasibility of transmitting all kinds of communications via satellite and paved way to commercial service.

TICKET - Record made by an operator of information required for billing a long distance call.

TOUCH-TONE TELEPHONE - Phone with electronic pushbuttons that allow calls to be made more quickly and conveniently than with rotary dials.

TSP - Traffic Service Position; console with pushbutton equipment that reflects the operator's role as service specialist.

TTY - Teletypewriter; equipment used to transmit and receive a typed record at relatively low speeds, generally from 60 to 100 words per minute.

TTYS - Teletypesetter; special type of teletypewriter equipment linked to linotype machine which automatically sets a teletypewriter message in metal type.

WATS - Wide Area Telephone Service; customer can make all calls he wants at flat monthly rate; service is available across continental U.S., or by region, on full or measured time basis.

*Service mark of the Bell System

Some books and pamphlets for additional information on the telephone

Alexander Graham Bell
AT&T Annual Report
AT&T Your Business
At Your Service (how the Bell System maintains its nationwide network)
Bell System Overseas Telephone Serwce
Business Purpose and Performance, by Frederick R. Kappel
Coaxial Cable
Early Corporate Development of the Telephone
Events in Telephone History
Laser :the New Light
Long Lines and You( for new employees)
Network Management
Project Telstar (Bell System experiments in space communications)
Radio Relay
Signals in Space (the Bell System's role in space)
The Birth and Babyhood of the Telephone, by Thomas Watson
The Telephone at Your Command( nontechnical explanation)
The Telephone in America (the Bell System, its function and parts)
The Transistor Age
The24 Partners (Division of Revenues)
The World's Telephones (statistics)
Vitality in a Business Enterprise, by Frederick R. Kappel

The Western Electric Store


Contact Us  About Us  Disclaimer  Legal Policy  Privacy Policy

Copyright MCMXCVII - MMXXIII AGB 1847, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bell System Memorial