STD without operators help completes 50 years today

December 5th, 2008 - 6:28 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 5 (ANI): On December 5, 1958, the Queen made the first long-distance phone call without the help of an operator, making today the 50th birth anniversary of Subscriber Trunk Dialling or STD.

The Queen made the first STD call from the central telephone exchange in Bristol to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and began by saying: “This is the Queen speaking from Bristol. Good afternoon, my Lord Provost, reports The Telegraph.

And now, to commemorate the golden anniversary of STD, some of the original engineers are returning to the exchange to re-enact the call with Richard Pyle, deputy Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, who was a telecoms engineer at the time of the first call.

But this, time the engineers would not be using a traditional dial phone as used by the Queen, but instead theyll use video-conferencing technology to see, as well as talk to, Edinburgh.

Brian Fox, a fresh faced engineer who had only finished his apprenticeship three months before, has revealed that he stood only a feet away from the Queen when she made that historic call.

He said: “It was one of the most important days ever in telecommunications history and a huge amount of work went into making sure the day went without a hitch. The walkway from Telephone Avenue was tented and full of flowers and a powder room for the Queen was hastily provided in a converted control room.

“We stood between rows of equipment as close as we could get and watched Her Majesty dial the number. When it was all over and the Queen was leaving the Duke of Edinburgh remarked, ”you can relax now chaps, it all works”!”

The Queens call is considered a major milestone in the history of communications.

While STD allowed Bristol customers for the first time to dial many other parts of the UK without an operator, International subscriber dialling or ISD was introduced in March 1963, when London subscribers were able to dial Paris numbers directly. (ANI)

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