9Fixed Broadband Communications Systems

Historical Note

Photo of DEC VT100 computer terminal.

Packet-switched computer data communications between a computer terminal (such as the DEC VT100 pictured [1])1 and a mainframe computer emerged in the 1960s. The subsequent growth in importance and value in the 1970s and 1980s led to major changes in the telecommunications industry. These included theoretical work in packet switching and queuing theories as well as development of network equipment to facilitate transmission of digital traffic over wide areas. As a result, a new ‘digital’ infrastructure became necessary to support these ‘wide-area networks’ and connect customer premises with exchanges and computer centres, and with each other. The new digital infrastructure used fixed lines media, that is wired as opposed to wireless, and a number of ...

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