Video: AT&T Long Lines’ NOC Tour – 1979

Today, we are revisiting network operations from about thirty-five years ago. From time to time, this site had posted media from the old AT&T Long Lines, however on the day after a massive distributive denial of service attacked the Manchester-based Dyn; I thought it would be worthy to do another post. Produced by AT&T featuring the network operations center for their then Long Lines unit; this was high tech for the 1970s.

AT&T had designed a national network to process out of state or region calls and direct them automatically. But if disaster or overloaded situations occurred, this specific operations center would be able to redirect calls to another route. Communication between the central office and the Bedminster was crucial in case of possible outages or high call volumes, say around the holidays or disasters like earthquakes, etc.

Around this time #3 ESS switches were used around the Bell System. Not too long after #4 would replace the switching, and despite the 5ESS taking over central offices in some markets in the 80s, the 4ESS switching was commonly used for long distance, even up to the early 1990s.

Today Bedminster serves as a catchall as AT&T has evolved into different businesses since the Divesture and the death of long distance services.

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Sadly, not all operations are designed like the ol Bell System only because the technology is so complicated and Internet networking was never thought of running like telephones, because telephony routing was so fixated (or static to used todays terms.)

While the Internet was designed and can do things like hop onto another network on it’s own – if the first or second hit didn’t work then you’d get to your services. With IP based networking; you can’t just issue commands onto a router and redirect the data traffic as easily. Often when a network goes down, the easiest way is to reboot it or do whatever you can do to fend off the attacks. Another problem is just the plain insecurity of the Internet. I’m not the biggest expert in IP networking but another problem is the war between traditional networks that are hard-coded (ala Cisco IOS) and newer networks that are more “dynamic” like what occurred yesterday. Not only that but the consumer equivalent to oIP, the Internet of Things is not helping matters. That’s a whole different discussion outside the realm of this site.


September 11th Tribute – “The Twins”

On this 15th anniversary of the most horrific and atrocious day in American history, your humble Curator would like to dedicate this day with the AT&T’s mini documentary of the construction of the World Trade Center around 1976 and the installation of switching systems. This video has been embedded in past posts around 9/11, but as a duty to remember, I am posting this again.

I hope you enjoy your day, remembering the day with some grief with happiness of being alive and (if you’re old enough) reminiscing of enjoying life before our world became vigilant of terror.

Here is the video:

Central Offices In Montana

Check out more Central Offices from the Outside. (More tags in the singular sense)

Here are some pictures sent to me by one of my followers who asked to not be identified by name, but with this tight community, does everyone need to be identified everytime, all the time? 🙂 I did get permission to post these, and I want to keep the descriptions to a minimum. If you are accessing this from the home page, click to read more.

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Newspaper Article – Hampton Technical Services – 1988

It’s interesting when one saves a newspaper or magazine for one thing (or just kept it for another odd reason.) Then when you find and run into it many years later, you may read something you didn’t originally intend to keep it for.

I don’t know the reason why there were old newspapers lying around the basement of my grandmothers house, some were of family value (if a story impacted us), etc. This specific issue I don’t know what the occasion was, but I saw in the business section of The Union Leader (which is a newspaper totally a shadow of it’s former self) an press release of a local business selling something like phone systems and services.


“A new communication and security business, Hampton Technical Services Inc, has opened at  102 Mace Road, say the owners and operators Richard and Lynda Gibbons of Hampton. Hampton Technical Services Inc. will move, install, rearrange, reprogram and maintain office telephone equipment such as Merlin, Spirit, EDTS 2000, Comkey, Horizon, System 25, Fax Machines, Dimensions, Com Dial [an obvious typo], Intertel, Crest, 1A2 Key, N.E.C., and E.Z. One, they report.

They security division of Hampton Technical Services, Inc. will install and service closed-circuit televisions, burglar alarms and smoke and heat detectors for commercial and residential use.

Richard Gibbons served four years as a Navy interior communications electrician, followed by nearly 20 years as a service and sales representative for A. T. & T.

Lynda Gibbons worked for New England Telephone in operator service and also has experience in the hospitality industry and publishing business.” – The Union Leader – September 1988

I’ve wondered if this business still exists, but 1988 standards they would appear to be a Business Partner to Ma Bell.