HC Deb 23 June 1930 vol 240 c812W

asked the Postmaster-General what are the comparative all-in costs (including cost of buildings and equipment, maintenance, staff, depreciation, &c.) of the automatic and manual telephone systems, respectively, in the London telephone service; what is the average time taken per completed call on each of the two systems; and what is the estimated saving of staff per 1,000 lines and per million originated calls effected by the use of the automatic system?


Sufficient experience has not yet been gained of the London automatic system to enable me to say what the all-in costs will be in comparison with those of the manual system. The first Director exchange was opened at the end of 1927, and while a further 26 exchanges have since been converted, the programme contemplates the provision of about 150 automatic exchanges before the conversion is complete; in the meantime the necessity for inter-communication between the automatic and manual exchanges greatly complicates the system. Considerable technical improvements have been effected since the first exchange was opened, and I expect that this process will continue and that it will be a few years yet before stability is reached in costs, but it is already clear that considerable operating savings are being effected. The average time of completion for calls originated by a subscriber on a manual exchange is about 37 seconds, and for calls between two automatic exchanges rather less than 30 seconds.

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