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SPC telecommunication systems have proved to contain some of the largest and most complex pieces of software ever constructed. To master this complexity requires the use of powerful tools. The CCITT High-Level programming Language-CHILL-is one such tool that will contribute to improving the quality of SPC systems in the 1980's and beyond. At the CCITT Plenary Assembly in November 1980, CHILL was approved as CCITT Recommendation Z.200. The CHILL language is important because its widespread use will imply significant savings by both telecommunications manufacturers and administrations. The language is the outcome of a large effort which is not easily repeated. CHILL has reached the state of being a recommendation from a world standardization body and is already in practical use with several major manufacturers of telecommunication systems. This paper surveys the history and objectives of CHILL and gives a short introduction to the language.