160 years of Australian telecommunications

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Peter Gerrand

Keywords

Australian telecommunications

Abstract

The Australian telecommunications industry has reached its 160th anniversary this year measured from the completion of its first electrical telegraph network on 3 March 1854, linking Melbourne to Williamstown. The back story to the implementation of that first network suggests that Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe and the colony’s first General-Superintendent of Telegraphy, Samuel McGowan, should be celebrated as the founders of Australian telecommunications: the visionary and his appointee, the entrepreneurial project manager. A brief overview is given of how the Australian telecommunications industry has evolved to the present day, including the evolution of the Telecommunications Society of Australia (now TelSoc), a society of volunteers supporting the industry since 1874, i.e. for 140 years of the industry’s 160 years.

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References

ACMA. 2014. ‘Communications report 2012-13’, updated 2 January 2014, at http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/Library/Corporate-library/Corporate-
ADB (Australian Dictionary of Biography). 1967. ‘La Trobe, Charles Joseph (1801-1875)’, at http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/la-trobe-charles-joseph-2334
Gerrand, Peter. 2010. ‘Celebrating 75 years of the Telecommunications Journal of Australia’, Telecommunications Journal of Australia, Vol. 60. No. 3, August 2010, http://doi.org/10.7790/ajtde.v2n1.33
ITU. 2004. ‘History’, at http://www.itu.int/en/about/Pages/history.aspx
Moyal, Ann. 1984. ‘Clear across Australia: a history of telecommunications’. Nelson, Melbourne.
TelSoc. 2013. ‘History of TelSoc’, at https://telsoc.org/history/history_telsoc
Wikipedia. 2014. ‘douard Estauni’, at http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/?douard_Estauni?
Wikipedia. 2010-14. ‘Telecommunications Society of Australia’, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_Society_of_Australia

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