AT&T Global Network Operations Center’s hidden “T”

  • At AT&T's Global Network Operations Center, a symbolic "T" is incorporated into the architecture.

  • The letter represents a telephone pole and marks the completion of the first transcontinental network one hundred years ago.

Similar to the infamous silhouette of mouse ears hidden into the architecture of a theme park, AT&T has hidden something special into the architecture of its Global Network Operations Center (GNOC).

The next time you visit the GNOC (we guide almost 300 tours a year), take note of the gigantic letter “T” that supports the canopy above the entrance on the far right.


You might think the “T” is the ticker symbol for AT&T stock, but actually, it represents a telephone pole. This hidden “T” commemorates a seminal moment in the history of AT&T, the United States, and the world: the completion of the first transcontinental telephone network one hundred years ago.

In 1885, AT&T was incorporated as a subsidiary of American Bell Telephone Company with the stated mission to “network the nation and the world.” By 1892, the AT&T Network extended from New York to Chicago, thus stretching the physical limits of available technology. It would require game-changing innovation to continue the network out to the West Coast.

In 1912, AT&T developed the high vacuum tube, a direct descendant of another AT&T innovation, the transistor. Signals amplified by this new technology made it possible to create a network of any distance.

Every few miles, AT&T high vacuum tubes were simultaneously installed along the lines from Chicago to Denver and from the West Coast lines eastward. The two lines met in Wendover, Utah, with the last telephone pole installed on June 17, 1914. With much fanfare, AT&T introduced transcontinental service on January 25, 1915.

The hidden “T” in the architecture of the GNOC commemorates that historic telephone pole in celebration of the humble beginnings of what is now the world’s largest IP backbone, the AT&T Global Network.

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Steve Moser Network Visitor Program Manager AT&T About Steve