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The resilient network
Building a network that can withstand damage, disaster and technical failure is one of the biggest engineering challenges in telecommunications.

It means concentrating on 'resilience' - in other words, designing systems that are hardened against accident and damage - and therefore less likely to fail.

It also means incorporating 'redundancy' - an extra back-up that can fill the gap if anything does go wrong.
A network at war
Extraordinary efforts and stratagems are needed to keep the vital telecomm structure operational and resilient in wartime.

This was never truer than during the Second World War when Britain was under intense aerial bombardment for almost five years. Afterwards, the Cold War planners had to look at what would be needed to keep communications working in the wake of a nuclear strike.
How the network looked
The look of the network has changed radically over the decades.

In the beginning, when private companies were providing telegraph and telephone services, there was no recognisable 'house style'.

That changed when the GPO took over from the 1890s. The Post Office years saw the development of staff uniforms and vehicle liveries that defined the look and feel of the network in Britain.

Since privatisation, that house style has changed again ...
fun and games

Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

featured story

100 years of automatic switching!
In 1912 the GPO installed Britain's first automatic telephone exchange in Epsom.

Discover the early days of the telephone...