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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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Epilogue (continued)

Looking more broadly, quite diverse forces, deriving both from the technology itself and from policy consideration, are impacting on the world of communications and computers as these two technologies move inexorably closer. The heritage of communication systems includes long life equipment and standardisation to facilitate network design, while the computer world, with a much shorter time base and rapidly developing technology, has evolved a practice of early equipment obsolescence and a different view of standardisation.

Divergent forces are at work also within systems as ISDN concepts are based on merging traffic of all types in composite data streams in centralised systems, while at the same time there is strong growth in private networks. Then, too, the policy makers, not only in Australia but world-wide, grapple with issues such as public versus private ownership, regulated or deregulated systems, monopoly or otherwise.

Again in the case of broadcasting, technology and public policies are interacting. Technology is for instance facilitating both an increased range of services and, through networking, greater concentration of ownership giving rise to important policy considerations.[74]

The conclusion then is that, despite the achievements during the two centuries since the First Fleet, new challenges and fresh opportunities for Australian technologists working in the communications domain will forever lie ahead. The challenges and opportunities which will face policy markers will be no less demanding as the developments of Australia will depend to an increasing extent on the availability of efficient, modern telecommunications and information infrastructure and services.

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 612 - 613, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher