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Historical Scope of Telecommunications

What was the historical scope of telecommunications? How has it changed? In what ways might it change in the future? How does IS fit into these trends?

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Telecommunication refers to the communication of information at a distance. This covers many technologies including radio, telegraphy, television, telephone, data communication and computer networking.

The history of telecommunication predates what is commonly thought of as modern ideas and the systems currently in place today. While the Internet is a major form of telecommunication in todays world its concept is far from new.

Optical
The first telegraphs were optical telegraphs, including the use of smoke signals and beacons. These have existed since ancient times. A semaphore network invented by Claude Chappe operated in France from 1792 and remained in operation until 1846. It helped Napoleon enough that it was widely imitated in Europe and the United States. The last (Swedish) commercial semaphore link left operation in 1880.

Electromagnetic and electrical
The first electromagnetic telegraph was created by Baron Schilling in 1832. The first commercial electrical telegraph was constructed by Sir Charles Wheatstone and Sir William Fothergill Cooke and entered use on the Great Western Railway. It ran for 13 miles from Paddington station to West Drayton and came into operation on 9 April 1839. It was patented in the United Kingdom in 1837.

An electrical telegraph was independently developed and patented in the United States in 1837 by Samuel Morse. He developed the Morse code signalling alphabet with his assistant, Alfred Vail. The Morse/Vail telegraph was quickly deployed in the following two decades.

The first transatlantic telegraph cable was successfully completed on 27 July 1866, allowing transatlantic telegraph communications for the first time. Earlier submarine cable ...

Solution Summary

The historical scope of telecommunications is discussed in 1043 words.

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