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Attention is called to the trend among large corporations to bypass local and long-distance telephone systems by means of dedicated fiber optics, satellites, microwaves, and private telecommunication companies. The factors responsible for this trend, among them the quest for higher reliability, are discussed. Some of the firms that provide these bypass services are then described. The various ways that bypassing can be carried out are surveyed. Attention is then given to the technologies available for bypassing and to the effect that the Integrated Services Digital Network will have on the trend.