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Telephone Area Office (TAO)
Telephone Area Office
In the 1970s, all telecommunication services for a geographical area were the responsibility of the Telephone Area Office (TAO).  In this section you will find a representative selection of the groups which operated from within.


Photo: Plymouth TAO circa 1980 © LSA
| EXIT | TAO: Reception | TAG | Traffic | Directories | Marketing and Sales | Union Office |
| CPE : Trimphones |

History of Telephone Areas

Telephone Areas represented the local face of the business to the public in the form of vehicle fleet logos, telephone directories, sales literature and telephone bills. Over the years the 'corporate identities' have changed considerably, as well as the trading names, departments, divisions and job titles. These pages attempt to identify the key dates and changes, as well as looking at the daily work...

History of Telephone Areas
Telephone Areas


The provision of telephone service was originally under the control of Sectional Engineers who were organised in small groups. As demand grew, larger geographical Telephone Areas were established and the responsibility was transferred to a Telephone Manager. Research suggests that Bradford was the first Telephone Manager's Office (TMO) to be set up in 1936.
   
Reception & Sales Bureau
Reception & Sales Bureau
Reception & Sales Bureau

Sales bureaux changed little over the decades until the 1970s when the range of telephones and services began to noticeably expand and reflect a faster changing world.
   
Directories
Directories
Directories

In the late Sixties, telephone directories were still produced by the Post Office and were a combined  book of at least two sections within a single binding:

Alphabetical Section

Classified Section (Yellow Pages)
   
Marketing and Sales
Marketing and Sales Division
Marketing and Sales (MS Division) was at the forefront of revenue generation, selling new lines, services and equipment. Innovation and new designs were virtually unheard of until the onset of competition in the 1980s.
   
TAG - Telephone Accounts Group
TAG -Telephone Accounts Group
Telephone Accounts Group (TAG)


The Telephone Accounts Groups (TAG) were responsible for accurate billing of DMUs (Dialled Metered Units) and itemised calls (dialled direct) as well as those connected via an operator.
   
Traffic
Traffic
The Traffic Division was responsible for Operator and Customer Services (OCS) and this covered a wide remit, which also included circuit planning and exchange loadings, as well as numbering ranges.

The Customer Services aspect dealt not only with staffing of exchanges, but also fault reports and disputed accounts due to possible service problems.
   
The Union Office
The Union Office 
The Union Office



The Trade Unions continue to play an important role in the ever evolving Posts & Telecommunications industries in the UK, helping to shape their futures, maintain decent working practices and support the workers.
   
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