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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 8

I Part 1: Communications

II Epilogue

III Part 2: Early Australian Computers And Computing

IV Acknowledgements



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Chapter 8 - Communications and Computers

This chapter is divided into Parts 1 and 2. Part 1, after scanning earlier communication issues, reviews the application of technology, and particularly Australian adaptations, innovations, local designs and system design, to publicly available electrical communication services.

The Australian Telecommunications Commission (TELECOM) alone employs some ninety thousand staff, operates a significant research establishment, and had a capital investment program in 1986/87 in excess of $2 billion, with a correspondingly large design and development team, as well as extensive operational and maintenance resources. Then there is the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC), AUSSAT, the engineering resources of the Department of Communications, the broadcasters, both Government and private, television as well as radio, a quite substantial industry and a range of research activities within the universities and colleges.

Against this it has been necessary, within the space available, to seek to highlight points of change and the more significant developments since the first telegraph line was constructed in 1854. This approach means, however, that much original work has been omitted. Here and there individual names have been associated with particular events but others who made contributions of equal importance receive no mention. Similarly, from an extensive literature it has been practicable to make reference only to a quite limited selection.

Beyond the scope of this review are the applications of generally similar technology and techniques to the communication requirements of a wide range of undertakings, such as those involved in defence, civil aviation, railways, traffic control, law enforcement, electricity generation and distribution and so on. No mention is made either of recent developments in private networks or of the application of technology to the operation of the mail services.

The technology of communication has developed so rapidly that a whole new vocabulary of identifying Codes and Abbreviations has been created. To assist the reader, therefore, a list of the principal Codes and Abbreviations is included on p. 632.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - AUSSAT; Australia. Department of Communications; Overseas Telecommunications Commission (O.T.C.); Telecom Australia (Australian Telecommunications Commission)

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© 1988 Print Edition page 533, Online Edition 2000
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