On 17 May 2015, ITU will be celebrating 150 years since the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telegraph Union. For a century and a half since 1865, ITU has been at the center of advances in communications – from telegraphy through to the modern world of satellites, mobile phones and the Internet.
150 years is only a brief interval in the recorded history of mankind. Yet those 150 years have been extraordinarily significant in terms of human progress and discovery. One of the most remarkable advances of the past 150 years has been the incredible increase in both the speed and variety of human communications.
First we saw the telegraph and the telephone, then radio and television, followed by satellite communications and the internet – heralding a new era of ubiquitous connectivity over the past twenty years. It is difficult to imagine how we communicated in 1865 – with no phones, no email, no instant messaging or SMS. Even the telegraph wasn’t available for personal use, so the most common method of long-distance communication back then was to send letters carried on horseback or by ship. The exponential growth of science and technology over the past 150 years is fascinating – and it is part of ITU’s story.
The story of ITU is one of international cooperation, among governments, private companies and other stakeholders. The continuing mission is to achieve the best practical solutions for integrating new technologies as they develop, and to spread their benefits to all.
2015 will be a commemoration year that we wish to celebrate with all our members – including governments, private companies, and other stakeholders.
ITU150 app allows you to:
- test your knowledge by taking a quiz on ITU and information and communication technologies (works offline)
- learn more through a mix of historical timelines, stories, news, events and #ITU150 community.