TAMIL NADU

Telex exchange in Chennai to be closed down

CHENNAI NOV. 9. The Chennai Telephones has decided to close down its thirty-year-old telex exchange.

In a recent communication to the subscribers - all of them are served by a computer controlled electronic teleprinter exchange located at Harbour Telecom complex - Chennai Telephones said, "the telex exchange has outlived its expected life and is breaking down often".

So far, "we were able to revive it with great efforts, but the critical spare parts are not available any more in India". Therefore, the telex exchange has to be closed down shortly as "we may not be able to revive it if any more sudden collapse occurs".

Advising the subscribers to "explore the possibility of adopting any other technology suitable to your needs as early as possible", it said, "while we are making every effort to make it operational till the last moment, kindly treat this as a notice for withdrawing the service due to technical reasons". The exact date (for scrapping the telex service) will be intimated later.

A senior official of Chennai Telephones told The Hindu that indications about the proposed scrapping of the service were given to the subscribers at a meeting about six months ago.

The old telex technology is losing its support base to superior and cost-effective mode of telecom technology. This is evident from the drop in number of subscribers of the telex exchange from about 6,000 a decade ago to a mere 800 now. Moreover, compared to the revenue from the service, maintenance of the equipment is proving to be costly. Further, 40 per cent of the existing subscribers are from the department and its sister concerns.

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