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October 20, 1988

AT&T WARNS THAT FASTER DIGITISATION OF ITS NETWORK MAY LEAD TO BIG WRITE-OFFS

By CBR Staff Writer

AT&T Co accompanied its third quarter figures – see alongside with a warning that it plans a further acceleration in its programme to make its long-distance network completely digital, and that the effect is likely to be that it will have to amortise its vast existing base of analogue equipment more quickly. The equipment has a book value of between $4,000m and $5,000m, and the company says that the financial effects in terms of exceptional write-downs could be substantial – implying that AT&T could push itself into a quarter or two of losses. AT&T said the impact could not be determined until the study is completed later this year. The hiring freeze is already having an effect, with the head-count down 4,000 to 311,000 since June.

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