Innovation and the Communications Revolution: From the Victorian Pioneers to Broadband Internet

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IET, 2002 - Science - 313 pages
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This book describes the stage-by-stage creation and development, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, of the remarkable global communications technologies that have profoundly transformed the way that people live and work.

Written in a highly readable style, this book provides a fascinating account of the key innovators from Faraday, Maxwell and Hertz to the inventors of the transistor, microchip, optical fibre systems and the World Wide Web. The book explores the background and motivation of these pioneers and the social and economic environment in which they worked. The significance of each innovative step is shown in terms of the impact - in scale and relevance - on today's communications world. John Bray also looks to the future for innovations yet to come.

This book will be interest to all those interested in the human thread running through the history of technological advances in telecommunications and broadcasting.


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1 Introduction
2 Creators of the mathematical and scientific foundations
3 The first telegraph and cable engineers
4 The first telephone engineers
5 Inventors of the thermionic valve
6 The telegraphtelephone frequencydivision multiplex transmission engineers
7 Pioneers of radio communication
8 Pioneers of sound radio broadcasting
14 The pioneers of electromechanical and computercontrolled electronic exchange switching systems
15 The first satellite communication engineers
an unfulfilled vision
the first transAtlantic system
18 Inventors of the visual telecommunication systems
data communication
20 Growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web
21 The development of the mobile radio service

9 Pioneers of television broadcasting
the first transAtlantic telephone cable
11 The first microwave radiorelay engineers
a worldwide revolution in electronics
13 The creators of information theory pulsecode modulation and digital techniques
22 Telecommunications and the future
Name index
Subject index

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About the author (2002)

John Bray was Director at the British Post Office Research Station, Dollis Hill, and later at the British Telecommunications Research Laboratories, Martlesham Heath, UK. He began his career with the British Post Office as an Assistant Engineer working on short-wave radio and went on to develop microwave radio relays for intercity communication. This led to the building of the BT Tower in London. In the 1950s, he studied telecommunications in the US, visiting Bell Labs and the Federal Communications Commission. He was responsible for the building of the BPO Satellite Communication Earth Station at Goonhilly Downs in Cornwall, which carried the first television transmission to the US via the TELSTAR satellite in 1962. He was Chairman of the Radio Consultative Committee of the International Consultative Committee of the ITU. In retirement he continued to work as Visiting Professor and external examiner at Imperial College London and UCL. His life-long work in telecommunications was recognised with a CBE, awarded in 1975.

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