History

The history of the industry reveals a continuing tension between the forces of competition and concentration. Having coursed through eras of monopoly, competition, and regulated monopoly, the telcos are now in a more competitive arena. There is regulatory uncertainty on the issue of net neutrality.

Today Australia's telecommunications market is strongly contested. Competitors with highly skilled, experienced and focused marketing teams battle for market position, market share and profit growth. This has not always been so. Historically Telecom Australia's predominantly engineering culture believed that it only needed a nominal marketing department and no sales force. This is a brief story of the building of a new sales force over the first five years. After five years the "subscribers" were more widely addressed and treated as "customers" but it was to be at least another six years before the company made the customers the focus of the business.

Three historic papers detailing the breadth of research undertaken by the Research Laboratories of the Postmaster-General's Department (now Telstra).

Telecom's directory publishing business produced the White and Yellow Pages directories from 1975 to 1991. In 1976 the directory publishing business was in a crisis; it ranked in the top three of Telecom's public relations problems, was operating at a loss which would rapidly increase, and was becoming untenable. Over the next 15 years the publishing business was transformed to become the most profitable and innovative business in Telecom. This is the story of that transformation.

A historic paper from the Journal in 1976 regarding the colour conversion of transmitters in the National Television Service by Telecom Australia (now Telstra).

Two historic papers from the Journal in 1969 that provide unique examples of vibration measurements in the field, verify reality and discredit some conventional wisdoms in the field of cable installation.

Radio telephone surveying at the end of World War 2 was physically challenging, as well as technically demanding. The historic paper describes the extraordinary challenges faced by technical and lines personnel conducting propagation measurements for a radio telephone link from Victoria to Tasmania between 1947 and 1949. 

19 February 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the first Japanese air raid on Darwin, the capital of Australia?s Northern Territory and its gateway to Asia. The first bombing raid targeted the flotilla of ships in the harbour and key infrastructure such as telecommunications, severing the vulnerable north of Australia from the rest of the country. But the severance was short-lived, thanks to the efforts of dedicated staff of the Postmaster-General?s Department who worked tirelessly under arduous conditions to maintain essential communications between the warfront in the north and the rest of the nation to the south. 

A 1945 technical paper from the Telecommunications Journal of Australia is revisited that describes the timing and signalling equipment used at the Melbourne Observatory between 1853 and 1945. The equipment was used to provide the Victorian Time Signal Service for over ninety years.

Four historical vignettes are provided from the period 1875 to 1880 from the Proceedings of the Telegraph Electrical Society of Victoria ? the lineal antecedent of today?s TelSoc (Australian Telecommunications Society).

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