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What Is a Tie Line?

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  • Written By: Jean Marie Asta
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A tie line, also known as a tie trunk or a private trunk, is a physical line that connects two or more private telephone systems. This connection allows a business or other large organization to set up a communication network that makes it easier for multiple locations to work together. For a customer calling in, tie lines can create the appearance that multiple locations are actually one location.

Having a separate telephone line for each person, computer or fax machine would be cost prohibitive for most large organizations. Instead, the organization will often invest in a private telephone system called a PBX. This system allows members of the organization to dial other members using internal extensions rather than incoming and outgoing telephone lines.

When there is a need for frequent communication between two or more locations that are not physically connected, the organization can purchase a dedicated link between the PBX systems in these locations. This link, which ties two systems together, is known as a tie line. When these lines are installed, members of the organization in each location can dial each others' extensions directly. There are several benefits to this technology.

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First, it reduces the telephone traffic on the company's incoming and outgoing telephone lines. Without the line, location A employees would need to use an outgoing telephone line to call location B. That call would arrive at location B on one of its incoming telephone lines. With a private line, those calls don't use an outgoing or incoming telephone line. This means companies can save money by paying for fewer telephone lines to accommodate their call traffic.

Second, a tie line can save money for the company by reducing toll call costs. Before a tie line, if two locations are located in different regions or cities, each phone call between locations would incur long distance charges. After, there is no per-call or per-minute charge. If the long distance bills for calls between locations were higher than the monthly cost of the line, the company can enjoy significant savings.

Third, a tie line can improve customer service. If a customer calls location A but actually needs to speak to someone at location B, the employee can transfer the call using the private line. The customer doesn't have to hang up and dial a different number, so his needs are generally met more quickly.

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