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Advances In Communications

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A century ago, news could travel about 20 miles by telephone. And, since underground cable was not yet invented, masses of wire hung over urban streets-one wire for each conversation.


Today, information in any form-voice, video, data, or graphics-is transmitted worldwide at speeds measured in milliseconds. Today's information-age technology looks cleaner and simpler too, all largely the result of the research of the telephone company.

Fiber Optics. One example of this streamlined technology is light-wave communications, a technique which use bursts of laser light, flashing as fast as 44.7 million times a second, to power information over glass fibers. A cable, composed of these hair-thin fibers and measuring in diameter about the same as a pencil, can carry over 80,000 simultaneous conversations.

Satellites. Satellite communications is another example of streamlined communications technology. Voice, video, and data can be beamed from anywhere in the world to a satellite orbiting in space which, in turn, can broadcast the message to anywhere else in the world in a matter of seconds.


Technological innovations like light-wave and satellite communications are making the communications network of the United States a model for all nations. The U.S. telephone network is providing the best communications service in the world.


Freeman, Maxine. "Automated Communications," Telecommunications Journal, December 1989, pp. 160-178.

Harpster, Suzanne. Satellites of the Future. Minneapolis: Bobbs-Merriell Publishing Company, 1996.

Jacobs, Martin A. The Future: Fiber Optics. San Francisco: Paradigm



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