TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bell Usage of IBM Computers For Switching

Re: Bell Usage of IBM Computers For Switching

fgoodwin (
7 Jul 2005 12:29:55 -0700 wrote:

> I do note that the Bell history said they intended for very long
> product lifespans, so anything they made had to be able to withstand
> many years of service. I believe they didn't change this philosophy
> until the 1970s when rapidly changing electronics kept making
> components obsolete quickly.

I don't know if this is relevant to the statement you read, but
regulators controlled the rate at which AT&T and the local Bell Telcos
could depreciate their equipment. Longer depreciable lives meant
lower expenses and reduced pressure to increase rates.

As might be expected, the carriers were always asking the regulators
for faster depreciation, and the regulators always pushed back with
longer lives. It wasn't until the late 80s when local regulators
finally realized that an electronic or digital switch did not
realistically have a 30-year life.

Fred Goodwin

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