Photostory #413: Canada's Electronic Switching Systems Near Reality: Telephone Engineers Create World of Tomorrow

Chris Lund
National Film Board of Canada
Release Date
March 29, 1966
CMCP fonds
Credit Line
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Main Text
For Canada - a big land surging with industrial growth - efficient communication systems are vital. Today, taking a leading role in the technology that will keep telephone users in step with the supersonic jet age, Canadian engineers are busy with plans to bring their electronic marvels into offices and homes from coast to coast. From their research and development of Electronic Switching Systems, customers of the not so distant future (the first system, already being installed in downtown Montreal may even be ready for Expo '67), will not only receive a vastly more streamlined conventional telephone service but a variety of additional benefits. These will include facilities for personal, miniature telephone directories made up of two-digit numbers for making calls to friends and places frequently dialed; the automatic transfer of urgent calls from unattended phones to others; pre-set conference calls for several people to converse simultaneously; transferring a call to another number by simply dialling it on the 'phone in use; the disuse of extension numbers and the automatic calling of a busy number when it becomes disengaged. Following closely Canada's prodigious growth in population, business and industry, the nation's telephones have almost doubled in 10 years to 8,000,000 - a rate of increase threatening to swamp conventional systems within a few years. Now with compact Electronic Central Offices planned for big metropolitan areas (Toronto is next on the list for 1968) and thought being given for smaller systems across the country, the daily communications of modern life are not only assured by the smooth instantaneous services of the digital and logical processors but approaching horizons give promise of further developments of electronic switching systems to provide services not as yet even envisioned. Quite near, though, is the day when the housewife out shopping will have remote control of her electric oven via her telephone and the travelling businessman full communication with his complex, widely-scattered organization.