AT&T And Data Communications (Circa '70s-'80s)

March 2005
Business Communications Review;Mar2005, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p14
Trade Publication
This article focuses on data communications of AT&T Corp. In 1974, AT&T launched its first digital tariffed service, Dataphone Digital Service (DDS), offering point-to-point and point-to-multipoint polled digital transmission at 2.4 kbps, 4.8 kbps, 9.6 kbps, 56 kbps, and 1.536 Mbps. In 1975, Bell Laboratories began studies on how to deploy a circuit-switched multirate digital service, and in February 1976, a development organization was chartered to develop the necessary hardware and software. Two-wire digital transport at 2.4-9.6 kbps was envisioned, at increasing price points. Higher transmission rates, e.g., 1.536 Mbps, for the first point-to-point digital transmission system deployed by the Bell System in 1962 (TI), would require four copper wires, using one pair to transmit and one pair to receive signals, and would be priced higher. The business case assumed customers would store large amounts of their records on computers in the AT&T network, in the face of the reality that many businesses were moving to minicomputers and that PCs were just then emerging.


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