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Andrew Shepherd



Newsletter 10




Subject Matter:


Merchants and Economic Relations



The article looks at the role of the Anglo-Portuguese Telephone Company (APT) in providing telephone services in Lisbon and Porto between 1887 and 1967, becoming known locally as the Companhia dos Telefones. The APT eventually succeeded in providing an efficient service to the two cities, although it faced many difficulties along the way, particularly during the second and third decades of the 1900s, which was a period of high inflation and considerable labour unrest, and also during World War II. Subscribers often complained of bad or non-existent connections, bad customer service, and high charges. Management-employee relations were sometimes poor, with a major employee complaint being that female telephone operators were not permitted to marry. There were critical interventions in Parliament about the company, although these declined under the Estado Novo. With the contract ending in 1967, the equity of APT was transferred to the Portuguese State.


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