UK’s Widest Bandwidth Phone Link Installed


‘New trunk phone circuit has widest bandwidth’

                          ‘Oxford – Birmingham link’


50 years ago this was a headline from EW’s edition of February 1st 1961

The story opens:


‘A coaxial trunk telephone circuit with the widest bandwidth of any in the UK has recently been put into service by the GPO between Oxford and Birmingham.


‘The bandwidth extends from 312 kc/s to 12.34 Mc/s, and is capable of transmitting a TV programme with 625-line definition, together with 960 telephone circuits or alternatively 2,700 telephone circuits.’


‘Repeater stations are situated every three miles, and gain is automatically controlled to cover ageing or temperature changes in amplifiers.’


‘Power for the repeaters is fed along the coaxial cable as a cable 1000-0-1000 voltage; interlock arrangements give safe conditions for maintenance staff. Although power could be injected into any feeding point to serve up to 13 repeaters, it is actually fed from the terminal stations at oxford and Birmingham.’



  1. Yes Robtronics I have to go down to a dusty cobwebby old vault with my moth-eaten old green eye-shade and open these creaking tomes with brown dry crumbling pages. All for a good cause. Our electronic archive goes back to 1994 but it’s not all accessible from outside EW. The 1960-94 archive is in the vault. I’d love to see it digitised. I’ll see if I can get someone to put up the budget.

  2. Will the EW archives ever go on-line? I have an image of David with his green eyeshade trawling for pearls through piles of musty old copy.

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