A PR Team’s Ode to World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2024

posted on May 17, 2024
A PR Team’s Ode to World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2024

Greg Vitarelli, Escalate’s resident telecommunications PR expert looks back on the innovation across telecom on World Telecommunications and Information Society Day 2024.

There’s a quirky little card store in the center of my town. Its stock and trade is stationary but people flock to it because it’s also a fun place to visit and experience. Along one side of the store is an original Ms. Pac-man arcade game in working condition. On the other side is an original Bell Western rotary dial telephone. 

During a recent shopping trip for Mother’s Day and Graduation cards, I was at this store and noticed a middle-school-aged kiddo looking at this phone. She seemed perplexed. I motioned to her parent who flashed me a smile and signaled that it would be okay to address her.

“So, what are we looking at?” I asked. 

“I have no idea,” she replied.

“What if I told you that for many, many years this was cutting edge – capable of connecting you to people anywhere in the world who also had one.”

She looked even more confused so I put my index finger in the holes on the dial and spoke aloud the numbers as I pretended to ring my childhood number. “2 – 7 – 2…9 – 0 – 3 – 3.”

Suddenly, I had her attention; she knew then it was a phone of some sort even if she didn’t understand its shape and size, nor why it had a dial instead of buttons and could not make sense of the spiraled cords connecting it all together. I took that simple exchange with a 10-year-old to consider the breathtaking advances that have occurred in telecommunications over the last two generations. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the transformation of the phones themselves is the thing that most impresses me. While it’s true that the journey from rotary to cordless to cellular phones has been remarkable, for my money, the innovation happening beneath our feet and above our heads is the real hero of this story.

2400 bps to 10 Gbps: 50+ Years Defined by Faster Transfers of Bigger Data

1972 was a breakthrough year in telecommunications with the achievement of communicating synchronous digital data. It was revolutionary to send a 175-byte, 200-character message using a 2400 bps terminal in about 5 seconds. More than 50 years later, within those same 5 seconds, a 10 Gbps fiber network can send more than 6GB – a more than 350% improvement!

It’s not hyperbole to believe that those speedier connections, occurring below sidewalks and strung from telephone poles, have done more to change our lives than almost any other innovation of the modern era. The 40-50-something-year-olds who comprise the team at Escalate PR, know they owe much of their careers to the progress made on things we cannot see but know that we should not take for granted.

So, on this auspicious day take to your smartphone and other connected devices and using the hashtag #WTISD and leverage those high-speed connections to share with everyone your love and appreciation for telecommunications!



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