The place: a Pacific Telephone
central office in Glendale, California, one of the oldest functioning switches
in the nation, a 35,000 line step-by-step office, is going to be transferred to an expanded ESS facility. Western Electric Speedy Cutover Service was selected by Pacific Telephone to provide a fast, reliable and
economical transition from the old to the new system. Features of the service are explained by Western Electric account representative Rick Snowden. “Speedy Cutover Service is a method
by which installers come into the office to be
transitioned from the step or crossbar to ESS, and actually perform the physical cut of the old office away from the new office. The ‘out of service’ time is just a matter of seconds as compared to
previous methods that took minutes and even up to an hour in some cases.
Several installers come to the office maybe a month before the cut and they analyze the cables to be cut and perform continuity tests to verify to
make sure that they have the exact cable, and move them away from other
existing equipment. After they’re identified they’re tagged so
that on the night of cut it can be a clean operation and nothing
else gets cut.” For this cut 127 feet of scaffolding has
to be erected the day before to accommodate the installers cutting
the cable from the upper portion of the intermediate distributing frame. On the evening of the cutover 51 installers and 3 supervisors are
assigned to cut the 927 cables. Western Electric supervisor Gary Brennan briefs them: “There’s approximately twenty
cables per person. These cable cutters are sharpened in a
special manner so they will cut a clean cut through
these and not cause any shorts.” Following a short rehearsal the Western
Electric installers wait with cutters ready. Three floors above the IDF frame Pacific Telephone people are hooked
up to the cut supervisor and TSPS operator who is handling emergency calls. “I will be on that conference line
approximately one minute before 11. They will give us the order to cut as soon as all emergency lines are down.” “Mary Ellen, would you call the operator to make sure there’s no emergency calls in
progress please.” “Hi, this is Mary Ellen at Glendale 11 CGO. Have you got any emergency calls in progress at this time? Good enough – it’s all clear, Don.” “Okay Western, cut the cable.” “Cut it! Let’s cut it!” [shrieks] “Okay! Cut complete!” “It’s cut.” “Nice cut Western, 47 seconds!” Western Electric’s Speedy Cutover Service an economical, dependable, quick response to telephone company needs.