The first fibre-optic-equipped digital switchboard represents a qualitative leap forward in terms of both technology and business. Its efficiency opens the way to the long-awaited reduction in waiting lists. And a new president arrives for a short period of time: Salvador Sánchez-Terán.

We grow in fibre


The decade begins with a technological breakthrough that would be a giant leap for Telefónica's present and future. The Madrid-Atocha exchange, one of the most important in the capital - and in the country - becomes the first digital exchange in the entire telephone network. With the installation of Ericsson's AXE-10 computer system and the first fibre cables between Atocha and Chamartín, Telefónica managed to provide service to 10,000 simultaneous lines and thus made a key qualitative leap towards reducing - and subsequently eliminating - waiting lists, one of the company's major operational problems, which persisted year after year. Years later, fibre would be the great vehicle for making Spain the best connected country in Europe and almost the world.

Central Madrid - Atocha

Salvador Sánchez-Terán arrives


The Atocha exchange was inaugurated with full honours by the new chairman of Telefónica, Salvador Sánchez-Terán Hernández, from Logroño and a civil engineer. An era of modernity was beginning with exchanges where line growth was faster and cheaper, as well as more reliable. Sánchez-Terán would serve a brief two-year term as chairman until 1982.

Salvador Sánchez-Terán

Almost 60,000 employees


In a society plagued by unemployment, Telefónica increased its workforce by almost 2,400 people, new professionals, mostly technicians, who joined a team of almost 60,000 people. Of these, almost 29% were women, and the average age of this young workforce ready for the new decade was around 36. And an interesting fact: more than 38% of the employees continued their in-house training in 1980 and completed at least one course.

Casi 60.000 empleados


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