We dug and refilled a 4000-mile trench to protect 9300 communications circuits against disaster (Apr, 1965)

We dug and refilled a 4000-mile trench to protect 9300 communications circuits against disaster

We split the continent with a trench four feet deep to give the United States its first blast-resistant coast-to-coast underground communications cable system.

More than four years ago when the first of 2500 giant reels of coaxial cable, started unrolling in New York State, we began an important project that will give added protection to the nation’s vital communications.

Today, 9300 circuits—available for voice, data, teletypewriter, telephoto—are included on this route. It stretches across 19 states and has 950 buried reinforced concrete repeater (or amplifying) stations.

Spotted strategically along the route about 50 feet below ground level are 11 manned test centers. Also of reinforced concrete, they have automatic air filtration and ventilation and living quarters stocked with emergency food and water.

This vital transcontinental link will serve the needs of government agencies, businesses and individuals.

This is a job that needed the Bell System’s unified research, manufacturing and operating capabilities. It is another implementation of a basic Bell System policy: “In communications, the defense of the nation comes first.”

Bell System American Telephone and Telegraph Co. and Associated Companies

  1. fred says: August 31, 200911:42 am

    We might all be dead but,by God,you’ll still be able to call your mom on her birthday…

  2. SteG says: August 31, 20091:33 pm

    Are we still using that Cable .. Is that why the internetz is sooo slow. 😛

  3. jayessell says: August 31, 20091:49 pm

    Those test centers are probably abandoned now.
    I’d like to see one.

  4. Charlene says: August 31, 20092:20 pm

    What exactly is the purpose of this ad? “This is why your phone bill is so high”?

  5. Firebrand38 says: August 31, 20092:56 pm

    Charlene: Look at the year. It was to reassure folks that communications could maybe survive a nuclear attack.

  6. Casandro says: September 1, 20092:04 am

    That’s coaxial cable. That’s kinda aincient. The only companies still using something like that outside are cable companies. So if you have cable internet, the connections of your neighbourhood are actually going over such cables.

  7. Firebrand38 says: September 3, 20099:54 am
  8. Keith says: September 6, 20099:00 am

    Likely a reference to that Autovon system built in ’63.
    Very interesting reading.

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