BT Widemouth

This is BT’s Widemouth exchange, it serves less than 800 properties so it’s size and unusual features give’s away its history and its role in UK’s telecommunications. Construction was begun with the General post office in 1962 and finished a year later, designed to withstand nuclear fallout. The above ground building serves as a local telephone exchange and as access to its underground substructure.

5-ton blast proof doors protect the access to the underground cable landing station with air filtration and backed up power with underground generators and is fully automated so it can be managed from afar.

TAT-3 was laid in 1963 by GPO and AT&T to leave Widemouth and head towards Tuckerton, New Jersey, USA and had 414 kHz of bandwidth, allowing it to carry 138 telephone circuits (simultaneous calls). It was in operational until 1986 due to failures and other cables being commissioned.

TAT-8 was commissioned in 1988 and was able to carry 280Mbits (40,000 telephone circuits) and followed the same route to AT&T in Tuckerton, New Jersey, USA. It was decommissioned in 2002 following the commissioning of TAT-14 from Bude’s Kings Hill CLS in 2001. 

Owner: BT
Built in: 
1962
Built By:
 General Post Office
Cable: No active cables

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