History

Two historic papers from a special issue of the Journal in 1981 featuring the new Black Mountain telecommunications tower in Canberra.

'Telegraph' Todd was celebrated for his achievement in planning and organising the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line from Adelaide to Darwin, linking Australia to the outside world. Yet Todd himself has remained a shadowy figure, eluding a series of biographers for more than a century after his death. This article identifies the increasing availability of biographical resources over time and reviews the challenges which biographers faced in bringing to life the career of a great pioneering Australian.

A historic paper from the Journal in 1961 summarising the investigation and selection of Crossbar Switching Equipment for the Australian Telephone Network.

The paper ?Revisiting the Structural Separation of Telstra?, published in the Spring 2004 issue of the Telecommunications Journal of Australia and republished here, provided the policy rationale for structural separation at the time, and detailed how it could have been achieved.

Two historical papers from the Journal in 1939 and 1990 respectively contrasting the telecommunication facilities and lifestyles at Alice Springs.

Two papers from 1963 describing the design and construction of the new aerial matrix switch at Radio Australia Shepparton and the ingenuity required to conceive and deploy a world-first solution.

A paper from 1936 exploring the effects of electrification of country Tasmania and the increasing interference to telecommunication circuits by high voltage power lines installed in close proximity.

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

Grand Intentions by Trevor Barr is an exciting read that involves many themes and works at many levels.  It concerns a fictitious telephone company, Telco One, which is undergoing major change as the Government privatises it.  Telco One is in the throes of moving from a traditional culture based on public sector, even public service, values to a commercial entity subject to the overwhelming imperative of shareholder value.  The twists and turns as Telco One transforms from its previous culture into a dynamic commercial entity are transfixing.  This is a must-read book for those with an interest in what could become a dystopian drama if not for the emergence and re-emergence of grand intentions and praiseworthy aspirations of the characters themselves.

Trevor Barr?s page-turner of a novel Grand Intentions tackles the ugly side of the neo-liberalism sweeping Australia in the 1990s and 2000s.  It examines the privatisation of an incumbent telecommunications carrier, and the drastic impact of its imported US corporate culture on several individuals. He deploys a cast of plausible fictional characters while allowing the narrative to be driven by an echo of real events in the Australian telecommunications industry.

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