Translantic Telephone Goes into Operation

Transatlantic Telephone Cable aboard submarine HTMS Monarch - 1956

On September 25, 1956, a submarine carrying the system of the transatlantic telephone cable, TAT-1, goes online. With this came the advent of global communication, which was previously dependent on expensive telegram and radio signals.

One of the earlier challenges faced by cable layers is that the best routes had already been occupied by telegraph cables.

Finally, under the instructions and preparations of telecommunication company, AT&T Bell Laboratories and BPO, cables from the system stretched from Clarenville, Newfoundland to Oban, Scotland, which provided a consistent transatlantic coverage, spanning 1950 nautical miles.

The inaugural communication system had the capacity of carrying 36 simultaneous calls and managed 600 calls within a day of its launch. Tat-1 played a crucial role at the culmination of the Cuban Missile Crisis when a call was established between the White House and the Kremlin for peace talks.

With the improvement of technology, better lines were soon underway and the TAT-1 was eventually decommissioned in 1978, upon the emergence of cables that were equipped to handle more concurrent lines.

We continue to benefit from rapid TAT-8 and TAT-9 optical fiber cables today thanks to the ground-breaking achievements of TAT-1

September 25, 1956: Inauguration TAT-1, transatlantic telephone cable

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